"We thank you for your e-mail of 07 February with regards to the leopard quota system in South Africa and the illegal and unethical activities of South African outfitters in this regard. We are aware of the problem and have expressed our concerns in a letter to our national ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, asking them to address this issue as soon as possible. A copy of this letter is attached for your information.
"As can be seen, we want to work with our national department, as well as the provincial nature conservation authorities, in finding a prompt solution and certainly will assist you in this matter wherever we can, so that we can put a stop to illegal activities. We will be running an article on this in our newsletter shortly and have requested the provincial nature conservation authorities to address this issue at their upcoming meeting next month. We will keep you posted as the matter unfolds."
The major problem associated with leopard hunts in South Africa, of course, is the number of them that are being conducted without CITES export permits. Leopards taken without a CITES export permit cannot legally leave the country. In the letter to the ministry of Environmental Affairs referred to above, a copy of which was sent to us, PHASA blames the leopard-permit problem on the way provincial authorities are issuing permits. "Although the number of tags is coordinated nationally, each province has a different system of issuing........(continued)