The whole world needs to understand that, in Africa, if a wildlife asset pays, it stays. If it doesn’t, it is replaced with something that does pay-(Thomson R, 2018).
Saai and network partners in the wildlife ranching sector invites you to comment on the recent announcement by the UK government to ban the importation of legally and responsibly hunted trophies. If successful, this decision will impact numerous rural people’s lives and their ability to conserve and protect endangered species in South Africa.
Your submission will be sent directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some important facts to take notice of before making your commentary:
- The total area occupied by privately or community-owned wildlife ranches in SA is estimated to be in excess of 17 million hectares. These hunting and conservation are funded and managed by rural landholders at minimal or NO cost to the taxpayer.
- Species such as tsessebe, roan antelope, sable antelope, bontebok, black wildebeest, Cape mountain zebra, and black and white rhino have been saved from extinction in South Africa. In contrast, populations of wildlife and other rare species in the poorly managed, non-hunting areas of Africa are reported to be in serious decline.
- The most important hunting ethic is that responsible hunters legally harvest selected individuals to protect, grow or maintain the population of these animals, so that they may be in harmony with their environment.
- In South Africa, trophy hunting is legally regulated and strictly monitored by the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry (DEFF).
- South Africa, which is considered a semi-arid country, experiences rainfall that varies significantly from west to east. Thus not all land is suitable for agricultural production but rather suits wildlife ranching activities more favourably.
- Trade bans that prevent the legal, sustainable use of wildlife or wildlife products have marginalised rural people, resulting in greater rural poverty and intensified poaching, with increased illegal wildlife trafficking and criminal activity, causing the wasteful destruction of our wildlife heritage.
- Responsible trophy hunters are, in fact, the most important and valued tourists visiting South Africa, as they bring about meaningful, positive economic, social, cultural, wildlife-biodiversity conservation and environmental impact.