S. African hunters try to clean up image



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Monday 3 December 2012

Last update 3 December 2012 6:24 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

SOUTH Africa’s hunting industry has set its sights on growing its already booming business and on casting off its negative image.
The country’s abundant wildlife, already a top tourist attraction, also draws thousands of marksmen in search of trophies for the wall or meat for the pot.
Hunters are thought to have spent about 6.2 billion rand ($ 703 million, 543 million euros) in 2010 — the last known figure — and provided employment to 140,000 people in a country where one in four people are jobless.
But the industry has an obvious image problem. It struggles to convince the public that shooting individual animals does not threaten species.
“If you look at the image of hunting, a lot, lot could be done to ... educate the urban public to the reality of hunting,” said Stephen Palos, chairman Confederation of Hunters Associations of South Africa.
According to Palos these “misconceptions” are pedalled by “fringe elements, animal rightist elements.”
He said “animal rightists play on emotion” and by hurting the hunting industry they reduce the funds that go to convservation.
But there is no doubt hunting is big business. Big trophies draw big bucks.
It costs an average of $ 22,000 to shoot an adult male lion.
Around 500 are killed annually, including a few lionesses which cost $ 4,000.
Outfitters also offer packages with various combinations of animals over several days.
Local hunters are largely interested in hunting for meat, especially antelope for the local dried meat delicacy biltong.
Thousands of foreigners also come in search of white rhino, buffalo and large antelope such as kudu and oryx.
In 2010, 5,673 foreigners came mostly from the United States, Denmark, Sweden and Norway and shot nearly 32,000 animals at a cost of 600 million rand ($ 69 million)
“This figure is underestimated, the amount should be much higher,” said Melville Saayman, a researcher at the North-West University.
“I think we need to position our country as a hunting destination much stronger than we do.”
South Africa has more than 10,000 commercial wildlife reserves which stretch over 17 percent of the land and have an annual turnover of eight billion rand.
Of this figure, 75 percent comes from hunting and the rest of activities like eco-tourism and auctions.
“The (wildlife) industry measured in terms of turnover grew an average rate of 20.3 per annum in the last 15 years,” said Gert Dry, president of Wildlife Ranching South Africa.
The government is fully aware of the benefits that hunting offers.
“The hunting industry contributes substantially to the economy of the country,” Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told a recent conference, calling for more blacks to enter the white-dominated business.
“Government recognizes that game farming and hunting contributes significantly to conservation, tourism development, job creation and sustainable development, especially in rural areas, and is part of the broader biodiversity economy.”
Yet emotions in South Africa are currently running high, thanks to a rhino poaching crisis.
Rhino poaching has reached record highs, with 588 of the animals killed already this year.
A recent “canned lion hunting” scandal also fired up anti-hunting sentiment.



Then, marksmen were filmed gunning down the captive bred top predators in small areas, which Saayman said was “unethical” and had given hunting bad publicity.
Anti-poaching advocates admit hunting is a thorny issue.
At best hunting could be done within a well managed system and the proceeds could be used to fund conservation.
But the rate of illegal hunting of some species is such that populations may be under threat.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Education is planning to increase the role of its subsidiary committees in the region and governorates to address the issue of schools increasing the fees on one pretext or another.A source in the ministry has been quoted as s...
JEDDAH: In view of a delay by Twitter in blocking the accounts of Daesh and its supporters, Saudi Twitterati have launched an online campaign demanding closure of these accounts which are being used to spread terror by those who have links with the...
JEDDAH: A young Saudi, who was born disabled, is today considered the best and most famous painter and designer in the Kingdom, professionals working in the area say.Despite being handicapped by birth, Rakan Kurdi, 22, has never given up and has mana...
DAMMAM: All Saudi airports, particularly King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) in Dammam, lack a tourism attraction strategy which requires a formal decision from the government, said Saeed Al-Qahtani, an investor in the tourism sector.He said: “In...
JEDDAH: Interpol is looking for two Saudis — a former Jeddah mayor and former president of a sports club — who have been convicted in cases related to the 2009 flash floods here.The ex-mayor was sentenced to seven years in prison while the sports off...
RIYADH: The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently discussed here the scope of cooperation with the Kingdom’s Public Education Evaluation Commission (PEEC) in the field of education.The delegation was headed...
RIYADH: Investors and proprietors of recruitment offices have blamed the Ministry of Labor for the rise in the number of illegal brokers, saying that some of the rules are actually counterproductive and promoting black market.The ministry has put a c...
DAMMAM: A period of 20 months will be granted to deliver residential apartments for beneficiaries in the Eastern Province, starting from the day of delivering land to developers, and not from the date of signing the contract with them, according to a...
ALKHOBAR: Bribery can be eliminated by applying the laws strictly and creating public awareness besides an active role by citizens, experts say.Abdulrahman Al-Zahian, a researcher in legal affairs and public policy, said: “The Saudi anti-bribery law...
JEDDAH: Zuhair Rahbeeni, a consultant at the Pediatric and Clinical Genetics Department of Medical Genetics at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said that the criteria used for premarital health examinations fall short of proper st...
JEDDAH: The police in Jeddah found a runaway girl after 17 days. A news website reported that she had gone missing after she took a taxi on one of Jeddah's roads.The mother of the girl said that the police found the girl on Friday after 17 days. She...
JEDDAH: Since the launch of the Asir Initiative, “Asir … a major tourism destination all year round,” under the patronage of Asir Governor and Chairman of the Tourism Development Council Prince Faisal bin Khalid at the end of 2013, the region has man...
RIYADH: King Saud University (KSU), which is leading the vanguard in promoting and supporting scientific research in the Kingdom, will host the Saudi international conference on scientific publishing for 2015 to discuss issues and challenges surround...
RIYADH: The National Committee for Contractors (NCC) at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and representatives from the Ministry of Labor denied on Sunday delays in releasing SR2,400 in compensation to contractors once the criteria have been finaliz...
MAKKAH: Being at the front of the House of God and the peace and tranquility in the Grand Mosque are feelings that cannot be described, said Egyptian pilgrim Abdul Rahman Mustafa.The Umrah pilgrim appeared to be very happy and content. “Thank God, I...

Stay Connected

Facebook