Here at The Hunting Report, we think the truth is somewhere in between these extremes. Yes, the report is alarming. And, yes, it contains some recommendations that we think are extremely damaging to the future of hunting, not just in South Africa, but globally, because of the widespread publicity the report has generated. However, the report is not a legally binding document, and much of what it recommends can - and probably will - be moderated. Alarmists who are canceling hunts to South Africa and recommending that others do the same are way off the mark. Hunting in that part of the world is almost certainly going to survive this brouhaha.
The report that has created all the discussion was produced by a panel of experts at the bidding of the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Marthinus van Schalkywk. The impetus for the report was a nationwide outcry over "canned hunting," particularly for lions. Clearly, a national consensus to stop this practice seemed to be building, and politicians needed to get out in front of it. In the process of doing so, however, they have opened a Pandora's box of complaints about hunting. The just-released report winds up calling for, among other things:
* An end, not just to "canned" hunting, but to any kind of "put-and-take" hunting on properties where game is not "self-sustaining." * An end to all hunting in national and provincial parks. * An end to all Problem-Animal-Control hunting. * An end to all dart hunting (unless it is done with a specific conservation objective in mind). * An end to the translocation of species outside their natural range. * An........(continued)