The industry relies on an efficient system of lion "factory-farming." The captive cubs are usually separated from their mother within an hour of birth by sounding a blowhorn to scare the mother away. Then they are bottle-fed by humans for the first 8 weeks of their lives. People in the industry claim to do this because the mothers often do not produce milk, and they must save the cubs from starvation. But animal welfare experts disagree. They say that lionesses rarely have problems producing milk and that breeders actually use this practice to increase the rate at which lions reproduce. When one litter is taken away, the mother goes back into reproductive season much faster than if she raised cubs. Five litters can by squeezed out of her within two years, a period over which she would naturally produce only two litters. And removal is not good for the cubs. By taking them away so quickly, they do not get to drink colostrum, the first milk from their mother that contains crucial antibodies and nutrients. Missing out on colostrum and the six months they typically spend nursing causes many cubs to develop ill health.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/03/canned-hunting-lions-bred-slaughter