South Africa Rhino Darting Questions


Published: March - 2011

In South Africa, I've had a deluge of inquiries and objections from hunters and safari operators regarding dart hunts, or green hunts, for rhinos. Are they really illegal or are the new regulations I warned you about previously just pending? Is the method I told you Tam Safaris is offering really "the only legal way to dart rhino" now? What about the darted rhino hunts that have been offered at numerous auction events for various conservation organizations? What if the hunt is for the purpose of inserting a micro chip in the rhino horn or some other health or conservation effort?

I have submitted new inquiries to various offices (provincial and national) of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in South Africa and at press time was awaiting their responses. I hope to have a clear answer to all your questions by the time you read this and will post the information to our web site. I'll be happy to send a copy to anyone who does not have online access of ome kind. In the meantime, if you have purchased or are looking at any kind of rhino hunt that involves darting the animal, make sure that your operator is able to provide you with a permit issued by the provincial DEA allowing you to hunt a rhino, as shooting a missile of any kind at a TOPS animal is considered a hunt in the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) regulations.

A vet must be present when a TOPS animal is tranquilized, and the only way a person other than a veterinarian can administer a tranquilizer is with written authorization from a vet. And there is the rub. The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) declared veterinary involvement in green hunting an unethical procedure with immediate effect as of June 1, 2010. They also submitted amendments for the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professionals Act that would require that written permission for non-veterinary professionals to handle tranquilizers be issued by the SAVC. According to the Acting-Chief Director of Communications for the Department of Environmental Affairs those new rules will soon........(continued)

 
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