Trophy hunting is out of control in South Africa. 99% of the South African people want it banned now. Trophy hunting is being explotated by Asian gangs that see a lucrative market in the Rhino horn.

The main concern is the Rhinoceros (pronounced /raɪˈnɒsərəs/), often abbreviated as rhino. Organised gangs mainly from Asia are hunting down the Rhinoceros for a horn that has been proven not to be of any medicinal use. Only 3 out of the remaining 5 Rhinos are now left in the wild mainly in Africa.

A full census must be carried out on the Rhino to determine it’s population so conservation teams can plan its future too. Should the census not be carried out then one can not plan out an emergency conservation plan should we later find that the population is lower than has been over estimated by government.

Petition:

We the undersigned call on the South African Government / Department for Environmental Affairs to now take immediate action to call on all hunting permits to be banned and trophy hunting halted with immediate effect.Minister Molewa you stated in your news briefing Wednesday 4th April 2012 a total tally of Rhinos poached has hit an all time high from 2007 – 2012 bringing the total to 159 for 2012, a total kill rate of 2-3 or more a day.Should you fail in banning all trophy hunting permits (mainly from Asia) and bringing this to an end then the Rhino will face a dead ending, South Africans heritage and our childrens history will be gone forever.

Minister Molewa & Dr Jacob Zuma we call on you to now take action.

 
 
 
Is Trophy Hunting really out of control in South Africa or are you referring to Rhino poaching? According to legislation, the Trophy Hunting Industry is well controlled in South Africa as Gazetted numerous times in the National Gazette.
 
If 99% of South African people want it banned, tell me how did you get to the figures. According to statistics, South African hunters constitutes to more than 8% of the total population! If 99% of the people are not informed about the industry or know nothing about it, how can they be against it. PROPAGANDA?
 
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Statistics proves beyond reasonable doubt that Poaching is a main issue in the Hunting Industry. The reason for this can not be identified yet, nor the origin of the sudden burst in Poaching Figures. One can just speculate….
 
First, lets look at three important issues when it comes to hunting!
 
1.Poaching

 How do we define the word poaching?

 “Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals; the law concerned may be e.g. the law of property or local or international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaching

“Local and international conservation and wildlife management laws”

-”Community-based wildlife management” means the management of wildlife by acommunity or group of communities which has the right to manage the wildlife and to receive the benefits from that management;

-”Conservation” means the protection, maintenance, rehabilitation, restoration and enhancement of wildlife and includes the management of the use of wildlife to ensure the sustainability of such use;

-”State Party” means a member of SADC that ratifies or accedes to this Protocol;

-”Sustainable use” means use in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of wildlife species;

-”Transfrontier conservation area”means the area or the component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries, encompassing one or more protected areas, as well as multiple resources use areas;

-”Taking” means the hunting, killing, injuring, capturing, harassing, collecting, picking, uprooting, digging up, cutting, destruction and removal of any species of wildlife and include any attempt to engage in such conduct;

-”Wildlife” means animal and plant species occurring within natural ecosystems and habitats;

http://www.iss.co.za/AF/RegOrg/unity_to_union/pdfs/sadc/protocols/wildlife.pdf

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What is CITES?

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

 

How CITES works

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need. (For additional information on the number and type of species covered by the Convention click here.)

http://www.cites.org/

The violation of any of these laws constitutes to the illegal trade in the species or animal in our case. This is commonly known as poaching.

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2.The Hunter-gatherer or forager

 

Two Hadza men return from a hunt. The Hadza are one of the few contemporary African societies that live primarily by foraging.

A hunter-gatherer or forager[1] society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter-gatherer

The San bushmen indigenous community of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe. As the term Bushmen is sometimes viewed as a pejorative, some prefer to be called the San people.[dubiousdiscuss] These people were traditionally hunter-gatherers, part of the Khoisan group and are related to the traditionally pastoral Khoikhoi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushmen

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3. The Trophy Hunter

Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game animals. Although parts of the slain animal may be kept as a hunting trophy or memorial (usually the skin, antlers and/or head), the carcass itself is sometimes used as food.

Trophy hunting has firm supporters and opponents. Public debate about trophy hunting often centres on the question of the morality of sport hunting and the question of the extent to which the money paid by trophy hunters benefits the population of game animals and the local economy.

Trophy hunting should not be confused with poaching, the practice of taking game illegally.

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“Trophy hunting should not be confused with poaching, the practice of taking game illegally”

 Hunting in accordance with Local and International Conservation and Wildlife Management laws threatens no endangered species at all. It threatens no species in general. These laws protect species under “sustainable use” which means to use in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of wildlife species. 

In order to secure the species in the long-term, the basic principle of breeding has been adopted in South Africa. The breeding of wildlife is NOT only for hunting purposes. South Africa has lost most of it wildlife by 1880-1890 due to excessive over utilization and exploitation of natural resources like our wildlife. One of the first conservation areas was established around this time, The Kruger National Park.

Cattle farming was taking over most of the previous wildlife areas and with this came the REDLINE. 

 The red line zone

A line, extending about 15 km (10 miles) wide outside the Kruger National Park, running all along the Kruger Park, to the west and south, extending in the same way alongside the Mozambique border (thus 15 km wide from Komatipoort to Swaziland).

 Here, carcasses or meat from the specified game may not be moved out of the area, with the exception of biltong (dried, salted meat, seen as a most delicate treat in South Africa). The biltong has to be totally dry and prepared with vinegar.

Why the red line?

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE CONTROL POLICY IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Foot and mouth disease is a controlled (notifiable) disease in accordance with the Animal Diseases Act (Act 35 of 1984). The Regulations promulgated in terms of the Act lay down the more detailed requirements for disease control and measures to be taken in the event of an outbreak and to prevent the introduction of the disease through imports of animals and animal products.

The national Director of Veterinary Services constituting the Veterinary Administration as outlined in the Code, controls all Regulatory matters for disease control and also has legal precedence over the veterinary administrations of provincial veterinary authorities for disease control purposes.

Surveillance activities within the FMD restricted zone are carried out by para-veterinary personnel (Animal Health Technicians) under the control of a state veterinarian. The frequency of inspection of cloven-hoofed livestock in the FMD control areas varies from 7 – 14 days (7 days in the vaccination area and 14 days in the surveillance area). Sero-surveillance is only done from time to time to determine the immune status of animals within the limited vaccinated areas. Serum samples are submitted for testing prior to the translocation of animals and for export certification purposes. Active and passive surveillance is carried out on an ongoing basis within the KNP to monitor the incidence of the disease in wildlife—specifically African buffalo and impala.

In the free areas, surveillance for disease is done on an ongoing basis together with other disease control interventions (e.g. TB testing, etc.)

 http://www.nda.agric.za/docs/GenPub/fmdreport.htm

The Cape buffalo is susceptible to many diseases, including bovine tuberculosis, corridor disease, and foot and mouth disease. As with many diseases, these problems will remain dormant within a population as long as the health of the animals is good. These diseases do, however, restrict the legal movements of the animals and fencing infected areas from unaffected areas is enforced.

Some wardens and game managers have managed to protect and breed “disease-free” herds which become very valuable because they can be transported. Some disease-free buffaloes in South Africa have been sold to breeders for close to US$130,000 (September 2012 Buffalo Sold for us$3.25 million)

There was only one option. Because of disease control to protect the cattle ranchers, not only buffalo but numerous other species was falling into the breeding industry. This was the only way animals could be transported across the redline area and reintroduced into areas they were once found. This was the beginning of the South African “mega bucks billy-goat game” industry, Buffalo breeding, Lion farms and more. 

Breeding projects added a value to animals. In order to get ‘disease free’ animals on your farm, you had to fork out mega bucks. As seen a record price was paid for a buffalo bull (us$3.25 million).

In the breeding industry, just like in the cattle industry, genes are important, this is what makes Wild Animals valuable. New blood lines to prevent inbreeding and quality animals.

At the rate of breeding some of these animals are sold to hunting farms. Once a herd of buffalo is bought by a gamefarmer for hunting purposes, buffalo are reintroduced as a new breeding herd. No farmer will shoot his prized bull or any female breeding animal. His objective is to breed and sell ‘disease free’ buffalo to another game farmer. Buffalo that does not meet the criteria to be sold as ‘disease free’ buffalo ends up on the hunting list. There is no other choice. Second option is to let it die of natural cause which in turn is a huge financial loss. Possibilities of an old animal contracting diseases can be detrimental to a herd of mega bucks buffalo. The process repeated itself over the last 30-40 years and this is how South Africa’s game populations were recovered and still growing!

In order to hunt this animal, a  license must be issued by the relevant state department. The Buffalo can not be shot or hunted without the relevant paperwork. This is well controlled in South Africa.

South Africa is the most successful country in the Game industry without a doubt.

Stopping the hunting industry will be devastating. Animals will lose value immediately. It will be no investment anymore. Many gamefarms will go back to cattle farming and years of breeding and planning will be gone.

This brings me back to poaching!

Poaching is a colorblind industry ruled by money and greed! I’ve seen Africans going from a bicycle worth us$120.00 to a us$ 50 000.00 Toyota land Cruiser in less than 6 months. It was not about feeding the family, it was about money and greed. The total ignorance of international and local treaties and laws, it is about me, the poacher!

We are all familiar with Mr Groenwald, the “Rhino poacher” from South Africa. Yet again, it was about him, money and greed. These are people from all walks of life with a hunger for success and they will do it in any way, no matter what the cost!

This is not our biggest concern! Look at the poaching figures in Kruger National Park. No hunter, Outfitter or Farmer has been caught poaching in Kruger National Park. With a White Rhino population of 9000-12000 individuals, Kruger National Park is an endless source of Rhino Horn for now. an we blame the Trophy Hunter for this sudden outburst in poaching?

No, we can not! There is absolutely no evidence or support in any way to connect Trophy Hunting to Poaching in Kruger National Park. It has al to do with greed!

In a simple way I will explain, For a criminal, a lock is an obstacle, he will break it or bypass it! For the honest person, a lock is a “don’t go, don’t do”. The same applies when you replace the lock with laws, regulations and treaties!

“Trophy hunting is out of control in South Africa”

No it is not, poaching is out of controll!