South Africa: CapeNature Responds
In response to my earlier blog post, Speak Out: Should South Africa Issue Permits to Hunt Predators, Acting CEO of CapeNature (CEO Manana Moroka has been suspended as of May 2012 without details released to the public) Dr. Kas Hamman has this to say:
Thank you for your interest in this matter and the opportunity to comment. We trust that your readers made use of the opportunity provided to comment on the document posted on our web site on or prior to the 5 June closing date.
We gave the undertaking to consider all comments received by 5 June as part of the public response. We will publish a response, once all comments have been collated and assessed.
It is, however, important to note that the conflict between farmers and Damage Causing Animals (DCA’s) in South Africa has been on-going for almost 400 years. CapeNature encourage and advise farmers to practice holistic methods including shepherding, Anatolian dogs, etc. The draft Protocol advocates the principle that, as a last resort, the individual DCA and not the entire species, should be targeted.
It is also important to note that the Western Cape has been and still remains, one of the strictest provinces regarding the management of DCA’s. To date we have not issued permits for the use of gin traps or helicopters to manage or control DCAs. You are welcome to read more about the historical background in the conservation of Damage Causing Animals on our website. We also recommend that your readers obtain factually accurate information on the management and control of DCAs in the rest of South Africa to objectively compare it with the perceived situation relating to the Western Cape.
Dr. Kas Hamman
Acting Chief Executive Office
For an opposing view, The Campaign Against Canned Hunting states:
Basically it re-introduces the horrors of the OranjeJag hunt clubs to our province, providing for regional extinction of valuable species such as caracals, jackals and bushpigs. Peer pressure from District farmers’ associations will compel most landowners to open their land to the hunters. The indiscriminate eradication of whole species in whole districts bristles with legal, constitutional and conservation objections, viz:
* Caracals are listed as Appendix 11 in CITES, and therefore specially protected in terms of national legislation and regulations. Cape Nature may not have the legal authority to enter in to such an agreement.
* The landowner’s various constitutional rights may well be violated by the invasion of his property by the hunters, if his consent has not been freely given.
* Research by Rob Harrison-White and others show that mass eradication is based on ignorance of the habits and behaviour of predators and in particular the protection from nomads given by resident predators.
There are no problem animal issues (sorry, DCA issues) that cannot be solved by simple management changes, such as employing herders and bringing the flocks in at night.
There is no need for mass eradication of wildlife, and in the age of the Internet, this could well cause a consumer backlash.
We hope that CN will not proceed with this ill-conceived initiative, and we need to debate it on 11th June at the Wildlife Forum.
Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan
Campaign Against Canned Hunting, Sec 21 NGO