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Saai, an organisation that protects the interests of family farmers, which also includes game farmers, recently submitted commentary on the UK government’s consultation on whether to ban the import and export of hunting trophies to and from the UK. The call for evidence and consultation to gather views and expert evidence on trophy hunting was announced by Zac Goldsmith, International Environment Minister. The commentary period ends on 25 January 2020.

Overexploitation and inappropriately managed hunting activity are cited as some of the main concerns, because these are drivers of species extinction and biodiversity loss according to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

 “The legal and sustainable use of wildlife, as well as the legal trade in hunting trophies has contributed greatly to the recovery of dwindling species populations – and even saved animals like the bontebok and the roan and sable antelopes from extinction,” says Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai.

The wildlife ranching sector not only contributes to the conservation of wildlife, but also makes a considerable contribution to the economy through tourism and the job opportunities that it creates. 

 “We are aware that South Africa is being used in this debate as a prime example to lobby against trophy hunting. The facts and research used against our wildlife ranching industry are poor and we believe that the wildlife farmers and their representatives should be given the opportunity to state their side of the argument before a decision is made,” Rossouw adds.

Taking note of Defra’s statement – that there will be future policy options to be discussed in terms of trophy hunting – Saai requested a meeting with Defra to make presentations on the wildlife ranching sector in South Africa along with network partners from across the industry.

AFRIKAANS

Saai, ’n organisasie wat die belange van familieboere beskerm, en wat dus wildboere insluit, het onlangs kommentaar ingedien op die VK-regering se konsultasie of die in- en uitvoer van jagtrofeë na en van die VK verbied moet word. Die oproep tot bewyse en konsultasie om menings en getuienis deur kenners in te win, is aangekondig deur Zac Goldsmith, minister vir internasionale omgewingsake. Die geleentheid vir kommentaar loop op 25 Januarie 2020 ten einde.

Oorbenutting en die onvanpaste bestuur van jagaktiwiteite word as die grootste redes tot kommer voorgehou, want volgens die VK se departement vir omgewingsake, voedsel en landelike sake (Defra) is hierdie die belangrikste aspekte wat tot die uitwissing van spesies en verlies aan biodiversiteit lei. 

“Die wettige en volhoubare aanwending van die natuur, asook wettige handel in jagtrofeë het grootliks tot die herstel van kwynende spesiepopulasies bygedra. Dit het selfs diere soos die bontebok, die bastergemsbok en die swartwitpens van uitwissing gered,” sê Francois Rossouw, uitvoerende hoof van Saai.

 Die wildboerderybedryf dra nie net tot die beskerming van die natuur by nie, maar lewer ook ’n beduidende bydrae tot die ekonomie in die vorm van toerisme en die skep van werkgeleenthede.   

 “Ons is daarvan bewus dat Suid-Afrika in dié debat as ’n treffende voorbeeld voorgehou word om teenkanting vir trofeejag te werf. Die feite en navorsing wat teen ons wildboerderybedryf gebruik word, is swak en ons glo dat wildboere en hul verteenwoordigers die geleentheid gegun moet word om hul kant van die argument te lug voordat ’n besluit geneem word,” voeg Rossouw by. 

Met inagneming van Defra se verklaring – dat beleidskeuses ten opsigte van trofeejag in die toekoms bespreek moet word – het Saai ’n vergadering met Defra versoek om ’n voorlegging te lewer oor die wildboerderybedryf in Suid-Afrika in samewerking met netwerkvennote van regoor die bedryf. 


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