VOL. 16 (13) - 22-04-2020
HUNTING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND THEREAFTER
During a recent discussion between representatives of the Hunting and Wildlife Associations Forum (HAWASA), the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA), and the Game Meat Industry Forum (GMIF) with Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, the Minister stated that hunting is NOT a legitimate essential service activity (be that consumptive or trophy hunting). However, she did indicate that the legitimate culling of game for the specific purpose of supplying game meat, is allowed.
HAWASA chair, Mr Stephen Palos, after the meeting reported that “…she also indicated that even when incremental reducing of restrictions start, there will be a long time before recreational type travel from urban/metro regions into rural areas (read hunting) will be allowed for any reason whatsoever”.
Due to the expected restrictions in traveling between metropolitan and urban areas to remain in place, it seems that the chances of hunting in 2020 as we know it, are very slim. Tourism and game farm/ranch owners take a very severe blow in this case.
“In the case of legitimate DCA or culling activities the land-owner/rancher should be the prime essential service initiator of the activity and should be the entity issuing the necessary permissions, covered by his own Lockdown Exemption Certificate. The participants in the cull or management of DCA activity would thus fall under those legitimate permissions and would require the necessary letters confirming this”, Mr Palos reported
The suggestion is that if members are involved with the above activities, “…they should be cautious and wherever possible they should attempt to get some form of clearance from local law enforcement as an extra precaution, even if just verbally from a senior official…”.
In terms of the food production chain with game meat qualifying as an essential commodity (food), produced within the essential service of wildlife management, Me Adri Kitshoff-Botha CEO of WRSA and Chair of the GMIF indicated that during the above-mentioned meeting: “…the Minister encouraged the production of game meat to proceed as normal. Wildlife ranchers should therefore proceed to cull their wildlife to be sold to registered abattoirs as previously done, or alternatively make use of registered culling teams. It is important to note that the culling of game for game meat purposes…” does not include culling undertaken by consumptive or trophy hunters”.
Members to who the above is relevant, should please remember that law enforcement officers are frequently also at a loss for factual information, and do not always understand the exact details of every hunt, culling or control of damage causing animals members may be involved in. Therefore, it is quite possible that even a legitimate exercise could leave participants in serious trouble at inopportune times and places. We advise that members on who the above has reference should participating in the most critical of activities, and preferably within close proximity to where you are travelling from. Also ensure all documentation is in place, and detailed addresses/locations are on the paperwork.
Please take care
This Newsletter sent to all members via Email on 22-04-2020