There was an undercurrent of tension at the meeting because this newsletter's recent reports on South Africa have caused would-be clients to be more than usually cautious about booking that country. Many are asking hard questions for the first time about such important things as CITES permits for leopard, turnaround times for trophy shipment, etc. More important, would-be clients are beginning to share my concern that there are no mechanisms in place in South Africa to help clients who have problems with their hunts. Moreover, there is a disturbing complacency about all the problems, as if a certain amount of client wreckage was simply the price of doing business.
At the outset of the meeting, I made it clear that The Hunting Report is going to continue to stay on this story, that the amount of "client wreckage" being created in that part of the world is simply unacceptable. Systems simply have to be put in place, I stressed, describing what happened when one Hunting Report subscriber filed a complaint last year against a major South African hunting company. PHASA never even replied to the subscriber even though the company is a member of PHASA. As for Nature Conservation, we have copies of e-mails from the top person in that agency agreeing with the hunter that the company was wrong but refusing to do anything because of a shortage of staff. Nearly a year after the complaint was filed this Hunting Report subscriber has received no help or support from anyone in South Africa.........(continued)