started this petition to
South African Nature Conservation Authorities
TEN CARACAL AND JACKAL LISTED TO BE KILLED EVERY DAY, ALL YEAR
TWO MONKEYS/BABOONS LISTED
TO BE KILLED, DAILY ALL YEAR ROUND.
WILDEBEES, WARTHOG AND ZEBRA LISTED TO BE HUNTED WITH A BOW AND
ARROW IN UNLIMITED NUMBERS.
DOES THIS LOOK LIKE CONSERVATION TO YOU?
Hunters and landowners are now able to shoot arrows into various species such as wildebeest, nyala, zebra, warthog and impala without any limit on numbers.
Ten Caracal, two baboons and two monkeys – three species protected under Appendix 2 of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species), may be killed every day, all year round according to the 2015 Hunting Notice by Cape Nature Conservation.
Bow hunting has been introduced; the legal ban on bow hunting (because of its barbaric cruelty) in Sec 29 of the Ordinance has simply been 'suspended' - without public input or debate.
We the undersigned call on South African Nature Conservation authorities in all nine provinces;
- To allow for wide public participation before any decisions are made that affect South African wildlife
- To protect South African Wildlife and work towards a healthy biodiversity.
- To remove bow hunting as a hunting choice from the annual hunting notice in the Western Cape and any other province where it is listed as a hunting option.
To provide current scientific papers approved by a wide range of interested parties about the populations of each species listed on the hunting list.
- To remove all species listed on CITES Appendix 2 from the annual hunting list.
- To include animal welfare as part of Nature Conservation's mandate.
WHY CONSERVATION IS NOT WORKING IN S.A.:
Successful biodiversity conservation depends as much on the relations between so called “resources” and its users as it does on sound scientific and biological knowledge. Hunting as a conservation management tool has proved to be an unrealistic ideal that may sound plausible in theory (if one doesn’t dig deeper) but is far from realistic in practice.
If we were to officially research the extent to which this is working, we would find that conservation is played out with the users largely abusing conservation laws; current, scientific data of populations is not available, public participation is often excluded from the decision making process and the
authorities do not monitor hunting practices.
The view that sustainable use is workable is a myth fed to us to justify the blood lust and greed of certain sectors of society.
Hunting is unethical, is not biologically sustainable, and the use of markets as a conservation tool exacerbates the overuse of animals rather than conserves them.
Is it any wonder that the
public is beginning to question whether South African Nature Conservation
authorities are working to protect the self-serving interests of farmers and
hunters at the expense of a healthy biodiversity?
In one of his recent blogs,
Chris Mercer (Campaign Against Canned Hunting says; “Anyone who doubts that Big
Hunting controls conservation in S.A. should read the 2015 Hunting notice.” He
is far from alone in having this view; those working hands on in South African
wildlife rehab centres see the consequences of this daily when animal victims
of farmers, landowners, poachers etc. are brought in.
Where is the recent scientific
data to help the public understand how these “conservation” principles have
been arrived at?
As far as primates are concerned, the only populations that
are officially monitored are in the Cape Peninsula and even that is buried in
secrecy. Current decisions surrounding primate management are based on old
outdated data that appears to justify the true intentions that lie behind our
South African tax
payers have a right to ensure that their tax money is being used to support
true conservation as opposed to subsidising the hunting industry.
PRIMATES LISTED ON
THE HUNTING NOTICE:
The fact that wild primates – the chacma baboon and vervet monkey – are
listed on the annual hunting notice is particularly disturbing and revealing as there appears
to be no valid reason for this at all; they are not venison and neither do they
make “good” sport targets.
Are they perhaps listed on the hunting notice for
the simple reason that landowners need an excuse to legitimately persecute them
as “problem animals”?
primates and zoonotic diseases:
Humans, baboons and
monkeys all belong to the primate family making the transmission of diseases
between them particularly risky.
Baboons share 92% of
the same DNA as humans, monkeys share 91% and bonobos share 99%.
The presence of wild
primates on the hunting list encourages the consumption of bushmeat and the
consequential spreading of zoonotic diseases (Simian Foamy Virus, TB, Ebola
There is no
“sport value in hunting primates:
Wild primates do not
regard human primates as predators and do not fear them the way they would a
predator. Instead, they regard as another primate species with whom they
sometimes need to compete with for resources. The level of fear they exhibit –
or the lack of it – is due to learnt experience as they move through life
interacting with either hostile or kind, friendly humans. Their tendency to get
close to humans makes them highly vulnerable to being hunted at close range and
the total lack of “sport value” makes it akin to canned hunting.
Damage caused to
The vervet monkey and
chacma baboon are listed on the hunting list based on the assumption that these
populations are plentiful; it is widely believed that they are commonly seen
and are therefore healthy. This is a misconception for the following reasons:
This view does not
take the damage done to troop structures into consideration but regards these
highly social species in terms of numbers only, without any regard to the
dependence they have on a healthy social system. A healthy primate troop relies
on a fragile social system; shooting individuals leads to damaged troop
structures which in turn impacts on related systems. Humans have impacted
heavily on dysfunctional troops.
populations are damaged in the W.C.
populations are not monitored yet the damage done to these populations is clear
to anyone living in the area who has some knowledge about conservation. This
makes their inclusion on the hunting list all the more critical.
populations between Mossel Bay and Stormsriver are badly damaged. Residents
report the disappearance of whole troops. It is no longer common to sight these
animals and troops – more often than not – contain too few individuals (often
under five). With fewer troops around, dispersing males have further to travel,
at great risk, to find new troops to move into.
Baboon troops often
exhibit an unhealthy skew in the adult male to female ratio as males are most
often targeted by humans.
the Knysna elephant research project I was surprised how infrequently vervet
monkeys were sighted. Also of concern was the small troop size.
urgently needs to be undertaken on the status, distribution and genetic
diversity (and degree of relatedness) of vervet monkeys in this portion of
this Western Cape.” – Gareth Patterson
How the Hunting
Proclamation influences the public and perpetuates the persecution of wild
The general public
looks to our Nature Conservation authorities for guidance. International
tourists visit South Africa most often for the wildlife and many tourists have
stopped coming to this country as its negative conservation image grows.
At present, the Hunting Notice which allows
landowners to kill two monkeys/baboons every day, all year round or to kill ten
caracal a day or unlimited amounts of jackal, gives the local public - and
tourists - the clear message that the lives of primates are cheap, their
contribution to biodiversity is irrelevant and persecuting them is acceptable.
Bow hunting extends
hunting activities to a larger sector of the public and allows for widespread
abuse of the laws which cannot be monitored by the authorities. This new step
further gives the public the message that the lives of animals are there to use
and abuse at will. The fact that species protected under CITES are included on
the list tells us how little that means to our nature conservation authorities.
Hundreds of Primate Orphans Living in SA Rescue Centres:
perception, misconceptions and South African conservation legislation have
dramatically contributed to the amount of primate orphans living in South
African rehabilitation centres. The same factors have heavily influenced the
growing amount of primates being held as pets. Hundreds of orphaned vervet
monkeys and baboons currently reside in various rescue and rehabilitation
centres in South Africa. These rescue centres receive no support from our
conservation authorities and are self reliant against all odds.
The implications of
making bow hunting legal:
§ – A licence is not
required to own and use a bow and arrow, thus the legal persecution of wild
primates is extended to a larger percentage of the South African public.
§ Hunting with a bow
and arrow is silent, hence killing wildlife can be easily done in secret – with
less accountability for the damage caused to the animal and the species.
§ Hunting with a bow
and arrow makes it easier for the amateur hunter to wound and kill no matter
how much cruelty is involved without the threat of punishment.
§ It is generally
accepted that Cape Nature does not have the capacity to monitor hunting,
allowing for the widespread abuse of hunting activities.
One of Cape Nature’s bow-hunting principles is to
“encourage co-operation between landowners, bow-hunters, local industries and
local communities in managing the off-take of indigenous species within limits
that are not detrimental to the survival of the species”.
Given that our authorities are unable to monitor
hunting themselves, placing the responsibility of managing species’ populations
in the hands of those most likely to be driven by greed and self fulfillment is incredibly unrealistic. Furthermore, these parties are offered the choice of using a bow
and arrow which is easy to obtain and silently wounds its victim without the
complication of exposing the killer.
Who can deny that this decision encourages
widespread abuse of our wildlife? We are heading backwards towards further
destruction of indigenous species.
Hunters on Bow Hunting:
On the hunting website – African Indaba, it is claimed that
bow hunting became popular in South Africa due to the increasing popularity of
this practice in the USA. . “Firearms Control Act (FCA): What further fuelled
the bow hunting industry in South Africa was the implementation of our
draconian “Firearms Control Act” or FCA. This act made owning a firearm an
onerous task and obtaining licences became and remains a task of note. Many
avid hunters in South Africa then explored bow hunting and many have become bow
hunting enthusiasts. We now have bow shops all over the country, even in the
small towns. No licences are required. Although there are minimum
specifications for bows and arrows for differing species, the authorities lack
the capacity to monitor the local market”. AFRICAN INDABA NOVEMBER
2013, VOLUME 11-5&6
It is unrealistic for
Cape Nature to believe that landowners will act responsibly in the best
interests of the environment when it is easier to serve one’s self serving
financial interests based on the misconception that shooting solves the problem
of raiding; during the past 350 years the irrational idea that killing problem
animals solves the problem has been the guiding
rule in wildlife management yet after 350 years we still have the same
tells us that killing tactics do not work?
Posted: 7 March 2015 (Updated: 14 April 2015)