By Ron Thomson
I note that the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) readily identifies with this article!
There are two opinions pertaining to “the use of wildlife”. One is that man has no right to ‘use’ wild animals for his own benefit. The other is that man has every right to ‘use’ animals – wild or domestic: provided
(1) no cruelty is involved in such use; and provided
(2) the practice is sustainable.
South Africa’s wildlife culture (since the Game Theft Act was promulgated in 1991) is 100 percent ‘commercial’. Proof of its success lies in the fact that wildlife on private land (since 1991) has increased from 500 000 animals to over 20 million; that many species that were facing extinction are now SAFE (and being hunted); and that the many animal species that were once scarce are now plentiful.
This success has happened only because the Game Theft Act allows land owners to buy and to sell their privately-owned wild animals; because they are able to offer hunters amazing hunting opportunities; and because they are now allowed to trade in live wild animals and in animal products.
South Africa’s National Conservation Strategy (NCS) is molded on the World Conservation Strategy (WCS) (1980) – which emphasizes that wildlife will only survive if it is harvested in a sustainable manner and if both man-and-nature benefit equally therefrom. So much was this statement taken to heart that, in 1980, the WCS was declared to be the ‘blue-print’ that would take man and nature together, into posterity, in symbiotic harmony. And the responsible nations of the world obligated themselves to model their national conservation strategy on the WCS template. Today South Africa’s wildlife legislation still takes cognizance of WCS wisdom
For a South African NGO (like the EWT) to encourage a major foreign power (like China) to impose a permanent ban on the importation of this country’s wildlife and wildlife products, therefore, is tantamount to treason.
NGOs who oppose sustainable use-of-wildlife are called ‘animal rightists’ – and it is their purpose in life to ABOLISH all animal ‘uses’ by man. The views allegedly expressed in this article by the EWT identify the NGO as being animal rightist.
In this article – with which the EWT has identified – trade is portrayed as being a threat to wildlife but THAT is what wildlife management is all about. Wildlife managers make sure that animal harvests are ‘sustainable’ – which means wise harvesting does NOT place wildlife in jeopardy.
If this report is a reflection of the sentiments of the EWT – and their attitude towards South Africa’s wildlife industry – I would suggest that the Minister of Environmental Affairs consider – forthwith – denying the EWT access to any and to all official wildlife management debates because the EWT clearly does NOT support our NCS or our Wildlife Industry.
Inviting animal rights delegates to official wildlife management debates is tantamount to inviting paedophiles and rapists to conferences that are designed to improve the laws protecting women and children from abuse (by such people).
Methinks, therefore, that by identifying itself with this article the EWT has hung itself by its own petard.
Read the Farmers Weekly article here