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Africa Hunting : Public consultation on ivory trade in the EU

on 2017/9/21 9:39:24 (1032 reads)

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About this consultation
15 September 2017 - 8 December 2017
Policy areas
Environment
. Departments
Environment

Consultation outcome

A short factual summary as well as a brief synopsis report on the results of the consultation will be published on this page.
The consultation will help guiding the Commission's approach to ivory trade and against ivory trafficking, in line with the Commission communication on the EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking and related Council conclusions.

Target group

All citizens and organizations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Objective of the consultation

Ivory trade in the EU is subject to strict EU rules. The consultation aims at compiling information and views on the extent, structure and main features of legal and illegal trade in ivory in and from the EU, as well as on the priorities that the EU should follow in its approach against ivory trafficking.

How to submit your response

You can contribute to this public consultation by filling out the online questionnaire.
The questionnaire is accessible in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Replies may be submitted in any of the 23 official EU languages. Given possible delays in translating replies submitted in some languages, contributions in English are welcome, as they will help to process the survey more swiftly.
You may pause at any time and continue later. Once you have submitted your answers, you can download a copy of your completed responses.
The final question gives the opportunity for documentary evidence submission (max 3 pages).
All contributions that are received may be published on the internet. It is important that you read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire

The questionnaire is available via EU Survey.
Before responding, please ensure you have read the privacy statement which outlines how your data will be processed by the European Commission.

Additional information

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, the Commission asks organisations (including NGOs, trade associations, enterprises etc.) who wish to participate in public consultations to provide the Commission and the public with information about whom and what they represent, their objectives, funding and structures, by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct.

If you are a registered organisation, please fill in your Register ID number in the questionnaire. Your contribution will then be considered as representing the views of your organisation.

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to register now. Then return to this page to submit your contribution as a registered organisation.

During the analysis of replies to a consultation, contributions from respondents who choose not to register will be treated as individual contributions (unless the contributors are recognised as representative stakeholders through Treaty provisions, European Social Dialogue, Art. 154-155 TFEU).

Contact

ENV-CITES@ec.europa.euPress
Send a message to this department

Phone number
+32 2 299 11 11 (Commission switchboard)
. Postal address
Directorate-General for Environment.
European Commission
1049 Bruxelles/Brussel.
Belgium.


https://ec.europa.eu/info/consultation ... ltation-ivory-trade-eu_en

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Africa Hunting : Read: ‘Expired gun licences are now still valid’, court makes big ruling on Firearms Act

on 2017/7/5 18:36:10 (773 reads)

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Tuesday saw the Gauteng North High Court declare two section of the Firearms Control Act unconstitutional. Both sections deal with procedures and regulations that should be in place when surrendering a firearm for which the license has already expired.

IOL has called Judge Ronel Tolmay’s judgement “groundbreaking”. In short, all firearms issued in terms of the Act, which are due or were due to be renewed, shall be deemed to be valid. This will remain until the Constitutional Court has had the final say on the matter.

Judge Tolmay also gave parliament 18 months to amend the Act in order to make it compliant with the constitution. Tolmay explained that the way things are now, there is a confusion among gun owners as to the proper procedure to follow in terms of renewing their firearms licences.

The ruling comes after an application by the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association. The group expressed concern at the “chaotic and dysfunctional” system of licensing and administration of firearms. IOL describes the core problem of the Act as such:

“Where a person wanted to renew a gun licence after it had lapsed, that person is deemed to be in illegal possession of the firearm.

It had to be handed into the nearest police station. The owner will not be prosecuted if it is a voluntary surrender.

But the problem arose that if the gun owner for some reason delayed in renewing the firearm, there was no proper procedure in place to bring him or her back under the scheme of legality.”

Many “pro-gun” South Africans are celebrating the judgement. Do you worry about any potential safety risks with unlicensed guns now being “re-legalised”? Or maybe you’re a gun owner who was facing a tough battle dealing with the complicated process.

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/read-a ... g-ruling-on-firearms-act/

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Africa Hunting : European Union

on 2017/6/20 10:49:58 (707 reads)

Information received from SCI and IUCN.

NAPHA has been in contact with our Ministry of Environment & Tourism, who is following up on this at the highest level.

This week, 21 and 22 of June, the EU Member States will discuss a proposal by Germany to introduce severe restrictions on the importation of hunting trophies of non-threatened CITES species into the European Union (Annex B species). If adopted, the proposal will require EU hunters to obtain import permits for the importation of Annex B species into EU countries. This means that EU countries would have the ability to ban importation of these species simply by refusing to issue permits.

The discussions will take place in Brussels at the meeting of the EU Scientific Review Group on June 21st and the meeting of the Group of Experts of the Competent CITES Management Authorities on June 22nd.


Source: Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA)

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Africa Hunting : Africa’s elephant haven: Botswana a rare bright spot in dire battle against poachers

on 2014/8/5 9:10:00 (3581 reads)

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CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, Botswana — No sign of an elephant in all of two minutes, a tourist teased a guide at Botswana’s Chobe National Park, home to tens of thousands of elephants. A minute later, their vehicle cleared a knot of shrubs and elephants loomed ahead beside the dusty road.
Such joking wouldn’t be possible in many other parts of Africa, where recent years have yielded dire news about ivory poaching. Poachers killed more than 20,000 elephants in 2013 amid rising demand for their tusks in Asia, particularly China, according to international conservation groups.
Botswana is a rare bright spot with estimates of its elephant population as high as 200,000. The southern African country’s political and economic stability, small human population and other factors make it an elephant haven, though pressure on habitats and conflict with the human population are increasing concerns.
Botswana is a challenging model for other African nations struggling to ward off the illegal wildlife trade, ranked by the United Nations alongside arms, drug and human trafficking because its illicit profits run into billions of dollars worldwide.
In all of Africa, there are about 420,000 to 650,000, according to some estimates.
Elephants roam widely outside conservation areas in landlocked Botswana, which has just 2 million people; in contrast, Kenya, under pressure from poachers, has almost as much territory as Botswana with about 35,000 elephants and 45 million people.
Elephants benefit from Botswana’s ban on commercial trophy hunting on state land that took effect this year to help other wildlife species whose numbers are in decline. Some elephants, who traditionally range across unfenced borders, may also have crossed into and stayed in Botswana as poaching escalated in neighbouring countries, some conservationists say.
While official corruption has hooks in African poaching, Transparency International in 2013 listed Botswana at 30th out of 177 countries and territories, based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It led all other African countries and was ahead of nations including Portugal, South Korea and Costa Rica in the survey by the Berlin-based watchdog group.
“Peace and conservation success go hand in hand,” said Rudi van Aarde, a South African conservationist at the University of Pretoria who studies regional elephant populations. “Warfare and unrest and improper governance go hand in hand with conservation failures.”
Botswana says its elephant population is growing at 5 per cent a year. Officials have introduced fencing to keep elephants away from villages, and the use of chili peppers is among schemes designed to protect crops from these “intelligent creatures,” said Cyril Taolo, deputy director of the country’s department of wildlife and national parks.
“Elephants being elephants, they quickly find their way around some of these things,” he said.
In December, Botswana President Ian Khama, speaking at an international meeting on elephant conservation in Gaborone, the capital, said that his government had deployed “all our security forces” to help guard against poachers.
But some suspects infiltrate across borders. In June, a Zambian poacher was killed in a gunfight with rangers in Chobe park in northern Botswana, which is close to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola.
About 50 elephants have been poached annually in recent years in Botswana, according to Taolo.
Poaching statistics are far higher elsewhere in Africa. Poachers, some shooting from helicopters, killed about 70 elephants over a two-month period in Garamba National Park in Congo, in Central Africa, the park director said in June. Late last year, authorities in neighbouring Zimbabwe reported that more than 100 elephants were killed by cyanide poisoning in the western Hwange game reserve.
The carnage has drawn comparisons to an elephant slaughter in the 1970s and 1980s that only eased with an international ban on the ivory trade in 1989. Insurgent groups and organized crime syndicates are prominent in today’s killings, officials and analysts say.
“We’re going through that again, in a lot of ways,” George Wittemyer, an American expert who has studied elephants in Kenya, said in reference to the poaching surge decades ago. Wittemyer, an assistant professor at Colorado State University’s department of fish, wildlife, and conservation biology, said Kenya had made progress in combatting poachers, but acknowledged: “We’re definitely not anywhere near out of the woods yet.”
In Botswana’s Chobe park, elephants lumber and forage by the dozens close to the river, where they have stripped away much of the foliage. On a recent morning, an elephant swam to reeds in the river, its trunk aloft as its bulky body dipped through the water in a surprisingly fluid motion. Outside the park, a herd of elephants leisurely crossed a road near a town, seemingly unperturbed by passing cars.
Elephants Without Borders, a Botswana-based group, is leading what it describes as the biggest continent-wide, aerial census of elephants since the 1970s with funding from Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen. The goal is to use the data to better marshal conservation efforts across Africa, said Mike Chase, the group’s director.
Elephants have “situational awareness” about risky areas, Chase said. He cited reports that many elephants entered Botswana during the Angolan civil war and some returned to Angola only when the war ended in 2002.
Taolo, the wildlife official, said Botswana recognizes that elephants are a global heritage and need international support: “Protecting those elephants comes at a real cost.”
The Associated Press
Read More: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/ ... battle-against-poachers/?

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Africa Hunting : Uganda: Rangers Deny Helping Poachers

on 2014/2/20 15:08:41 (2771 reads)

Kampala — The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has dismissed media reports linking its staff with aiding and abetting poachers kill the animals. UWA also denies helping poachers find markets for the animal trophies.

Dr. Andrew Sseguya, the Executive Director told a news conference, UWA as a law enforcement institution cannot be criminal-friendly. He said UWA staff have been on several occasions under attack for executing lawful duties.

"UWA does not condone any illegality committed by anybody and whoever is implicated is always brought to book and punished accordingly," Sseguya said.

"All poachers and encroachers arrested are charged and prosecuted in courts of law and accordingly sentenced. Any staff found to be involved in any illegalities is also disciplined in accordance with the law and established rules and regulations," he said.

Sseguya said UWA has been able to effectively enforce the wildlife law in Uganda through partnership with other security forces, including the UPDF, Police, Prisons and other agencies.

He said this partnership has helped to ensure the security and integrity of the protected areas, including the safety and security of tourists.

"We employ a ranger force of over 1300, well trained and skilled personnel in addition to over 700 UPDF officers and men who specialize in wildlife protection plus over 600 Tourism Police officers deployed to ensure the safety of tourists with 233 of these deployed in wildlife areas," Sseguya said.

Sseguya said the level of illegal wildlife activities in protected areas has been substantially and systematically been contained and the wildlife numbers have been steadily growing during the recent past.

Sseguya also dismissed reports that his staff were involved in the murder of "seven suspected poachers" who disappeared in Murchison Falls National Park.

He said, the matter is under investigation and before courts of law and it is improper to comment on it.

"However, the public need to be informed that neither UWA nor its staff condone the killing of communities and Ugandans for whom they conserve wildlife for and on behalf.

"Any person found in the protected areas without permission or found committing any wildlife crime is arrested and handed over to police for prosecution. On the contrary, it is the staff of UWA who have been victimized by the thugs and criminals leading to loss of many lives of both UWA rangers and UPDF officers while defending the wildlife and the protected areas for the good of all Ugandans," Sseguya said.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201402180243.html

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Africa Hunting : South Africa: Nine Arrested for Rhino Horn Crimes

on 2014/2/16 5:56:21 (1979 reads)

Nine people have been arrested for crimes relating to the rhino horn trade, the Hawks said.

Five suspected poachers were found in possession of a rhino horn during an undercover operation in Bela-Bela on Tuesday afternoon.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said the seized horn appeared to have been poached from an adult rhino a few months ago.

The five suspects are aged between 23 and 34, and are South Africans from Mabula village and Eersterust in Hammanskraal North, Pretoria.

The arrest happened a few hours after the Hawks were summoned to a rhino poaching crime scene at Zonderwater Farm in Lephalale.

One of the animals was dehorned while the other was wounded.

Rangers at the farm accosted individuals while making their rounds on the farm on Monday. A set of rhino horns, a high calibre hunting rifle with four rounds of ammunition, a saw and a getaway car were seized.

The suspects, Kenny Sibiya, 31, Butini Ndlovu, 42, Richard Sibuyani, 48, from Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga and Sam Nnone, 30, from Dark City Village in Lephalale, appeared in the Lephalale Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Their case has been postponed to 28 March 2014 for a formal bail application while they remain in custody.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201402131174.html

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Africa Hunting : Namibia: Crocodile Kills 25-Year-Old Woman

on 2014/2/3 13:45:31 (1573 reads)

Rundu — Kavango River crocodiles claimed another life, this time killing a woman who was taking a bath in the river around midday on Monday.

The woman has been identified as 25-year-old Magdalena Kavindami from Kakuro, a village in the Kavango West Region. Her body was only recovered yesterday morning. Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton confirmed the incident and urged the community to take precautions when bathing in the river. "Now that the rainy season is here, villagers normally cross the river into Angola to go and cultivate their fields. When they are done with the field work for the day, they would take a bath in the river and cross back into Namibia," explained the deputy commissioner.

In a separate incident, a 54-year-old woman died after committing suicide on Sunday morning. Faira Sikupuro from Rundu's Sauyemwa location hanged herself in her bedroom with a piece of cloth and did not leave any suicide note.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201401151127.html

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Africa Hunting : Swaziland: Shoot to Kill If You See Poachers - Police Chief Tells Rangers

on 2014/2/3 13:36:20 (1970 reads)

Today's Times of Swaziland reports the comments by police chief Isaac Magagula speaking to a group of traditional leaders in the land-locked southern African nation. "Animals are now protected by law and hunting is no longer a free-for-all, where anybody can just wake up to hunt game whenever they crave meat," said Magagula in the Times of Swaziland.

"Of course, it becomes very sad whenever one wakes up to reports that rangers have shot someone. These people are protected by law and it allows them to shoot, hence it would be very wise of one to shun away from trouble," added Magagula. The article says "the media had for a long time been peppered with reports of killings by rangers", noting that human rights activists have condemned such killings.

Commentators inside Swaziland have spoken against the "shoot to kill" policy, saying many people are not poaching large game, such as endangered black rhinos, but go hunting animals, such as warthogs, to feed themselves and their families. MISA-Swaziland's advocacy officer Phakama Shili wrote an opinion piece, 'Human Rights versus Animal Rights', about this topic last year. Click here to read it.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201401311187.html

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Africa Hunting : Economic & ecological benefits of hunting in Namibia

on 2017/9/6 11:21:19 (759 reads)

In Namibia, hunting is a vital part of conservation and contributes to the economic sustainability of mixed farming operations, private game farms, and more importantly, communal conservancies. Gerhard Uys spoke to Tanja Dahl, CEO of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association.

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Official statistics from the Namibian government show that hunting on commercial farms generates in excess of N$351 million [R351 million] per year.
Photo: FW Archive

Why is hunting a good conservation strategy for Namibia?
Hunting in Namibia is well regulated, conservation- and sustainability-based, and enshrined in the Constitution. We adhere to the laws, but also to ethical hunting principles, as we diligently follow the rules of fair chase and truly believe in them.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia [MET] supports hunting. Minister Pohamba Penomwenyo Shifeta is outspoken about the benefits for communal conservancies.

Why were the communal conservancies established?
Local inhabitants were driven from their land into barren ‘reserves’ by the South African government, which applied apartheid principles to make way for South African farmers. In the northern Kunene region, Namibians and their livestock were forced to compete with wildlife for land.

The first community conservation efforts in Namibia began here. The idea was to place wildlife in the hands of the very people, the local communities, accused of poaching by the government.

How do they work?
In communal conservancies, rural residents on communal land have the same rights to wildlife as private farmers, enabling them to diversify their income streams by operating tourism and trophy hunting businesses.

A communal conservancy has fixed boundaries agreed to by its founding members and neighbouring communities. It is usually split into zones, integrating traditional resource use with new income sources: tourism, the sustainable use of wildlife (including trophy hunting, fishing and fishery protection areas), and exclusive wildlife conservation areas.

Communal conservancies are registered by the MET and adhere to ministry regulations.

Conservancies have constitutions, elected management committees, game management plans, and plans for the distribution of benefits.

In remote regions, where income possibilities are often meagre, but natural resources abundant, the programme brings jobs and additional income, and incentives for practical nature conservation in addition to subsistence agriculture.

From a conservation viewpoint, it lends financial value to wildlife and leads to tolerance for wild animals. This enables mixed operations, game farms and livestock enterprises to thrive without conflict.

How large are hunting concessions?
Commercial farms in Namibia are, on average, 5 000ha in size, with game and hunting farms even larger [many hunting farms in South Africa are smaller than 1 500ha]. Namibia has 82 communal conservancies that range from about 50 000ha to 900 000ha, with 44% of Namibia under some type of conservation measure.

Why did Namibia not ban trophy hunting or exports when other countries did?
In Namibia, one of our biggest ‘exports’ is tourism. We do not have many other resources, as it is a dry country and need to rely on consumptive tourism. Our government understands this.

Hunting not only adds significantly to our GDP, it protects wildlife. Much of Namibia is under some form of conservation. Government hunting concessions are another form of securing income from remote areas.

How is hunting regulated on the conservancies and how have the communal conservancies performed?
All hunting is based on game counts and the management plan, and has to be approved by the MET via strict quotas. Twenty-six of the established conservancies are financially self-sufficient, while others earn income that is used to support conservancy operations.

Based on statistics from 82 registered communal conservancies in Namibia, conservancies generate more than N$70 million [R70 million] every year in direct benefit to rural communities.

Approximately 300 000 people, which is almost 13% of the country’s population, live in conservancies. A total of 2 000 permanent jobs and 3 500 temporary jobs have been created.

What is the macroeconomic effect of sustainable hunting?
Although no definitive value is attached to trophy hunting, tourism accounts for about 3% of Namibia’s GDP. About 27% of all employment in Namibia is directly created by the travel and tourism industry, a substantial figure when one takes Africa’s high unemployment rates into account.

In 2015, the World Bank listed Namibia as having an unemployment rate of 28% of the total population. However, a large portion of these ‘unemployed’ people are in fact beneficiaries of the Namibian communal conservancy programmes.

What are the benefits of trophy hunting for communal conservancies and commercial game farms in Namibia?
A World Wide Fund for Nature study into communal conservancies between 1998 and 2013 entitled, ‘The complementary benefits of tourism and hunting to communal conservancies in Namibia’, looked at a total of 77 communal conservancies.

It showed that across all conservancies, benefits from hunting and tourism have grown at roughly the same rate, although conservancies typically start generating benefits from hunting within three years of formation, as opposed to after six years for tourism ventures.

The study showed that the main benefits from hunting are income for conservancy management and meat for the community at large, while the majority of tourism benefits are salaried jobs at lodges.

A simulated ban on trophy hunting significantly reduced the number of conservancies that were able to cover their operating costs, whereas eliminating income from tourism did not have as severe an effect. However, as there is only a small number of trophy hunters in Namibia, they in effect place a low burden on the environment.

If trophy hunting was banned in these conservancies, poaching would become rife and the natural habitat of species would be overrun by cattle and sheep, once again causing conflict between humans and wildlife, and consequently the wholesale slaughter of wildlife in these areas.

According to government studies, hunting on commercial farms in Namibia generates in excess of N$351 million [R351 million] per annum, and commercial agriculture as a whole provides employment for 27,4% of the population.

According to Minister Shifeta, should a ban be placed on trophy hunting, commercial farmers in Namibia would lose the bulk of their foreign earnings; 50% of jobs on mixed livestock and hunting farms would be lost; and at least 3 500 jobs on exclusive hunting farms would disappear.

This would increase unemployment in a country with an already high rate of unemployment. It is clear, then, that Namibia’s approach to conservation is working.

https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/animal ... benefits-hunting-namibia/




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Africa Hunting : Is it legal to use a silencer when hunting in South Africa?

on 2017/6/22 9:23:13 (875 reads)

June 2014, PHASA enquired from provinces regarding the legal use of silencers for hunting. Summary below:


GAUTENG:
Gauteng Ordinance 12 of 1983 does not prohibit the use of a silencer for hunting. It is therefore not illegal.

KZN:
Legislation does not refer to silencers or sound suppressors. They are therefore not prohibited methods.

Northern Cape:
In the NCNCA 9/2009 a silencer is listed as a prohibited Hunting Method or Instrument BUT with the standard provision that it can be used if permitted by the landowner. IN SHORT - it will be illegal to use on a public road but legal to use during a legal hunt the moment the landowners signs the written permission document

Free State:
There is no legislation in place regarding the use of silencers in the Free State. In short, it is not prohibited to make use of a silencer during a hunt.

Mpumalanga:
Current conservation legislation in Mpumalanga does not allow for the use of a suppressor/silencer without a permit, however we believe it is outdated and we will amend our Act and Regulations accordingly when the opportunity presents itself.

Mpumalanga Nature Conservation Act, Act 10 of 1998. Art. 11(f)

Eastern Cape:
Not illegal to use a silencer on a rifle.

Limpopo:
LEMA do not prohibit the use of a silencer on a gun when hunting. Please read Art 38 in LEMA to get clarity.

It is advised that the hunter obtain permission/find out from the farm owner if he allows silencers on his property or not.

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Africa Hunting :  Phasa Applauds SAA Decision To Lift Cargo Embargo On Certain Hunting Trophies

on 2015/9/2 21:20:00 (2376 reads)

The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) has welcomed the decision by South African Airways (SAA) to reverse the embargo it had effected on 21 April this year on the transportation of rhino, elephant, lion and tiger trophies on the carrier’s services worldwide.
Adri Kitshoff, chief executive, said that the reversal brought SAA’s directives regarding the transport of legally hunted trophies in line with the South African Government’s policy of “sustainable utilisation” of its natural resources.
Kitshoff expressed PHASA’s appreciation to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for their intervention in the matter as well as to SAA for the opportunity to meet with the carrier’s executives and to explain to them the importance of hunting to Africa’s economy and conservation programmes. She said that PHASA’s efforts to overturn the embargo through the direct negotiation with SAA, the DEA and Minister Edna Molewa since April had finally paid off.
Kitshoff said she is hopeful that other airlines and shipping lines that have refused to transport hunting trophies will follow SAA’s lead. “SAA has elected to fight the illicit trade in wildlife products through more stringent control methods instead of placing restrictions on the transport of legally hunted sport trophies. The same remedy is available to the other carriers,” she said.
“There is a clear distinction between illegal wildlife products, such as poached rhino horn or ivory, and legitimate hunting trophies. The export of trophies is strictly regulated by both the country of origin, the country of import and, where applicable, CITES.”
Published in PHASA Press Release

For more information, read the original article at:
http://www.pot-shot.co.za/index.cfm?y ... n=52&langu=1#.Veb6LPmqqko

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Africa Hunting : ILLEGALLY CAPTURED WILD DOGS RETURNED TO THE WILD

on 2014/5/21 19:09:57 (3562 reads)

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) recently successfully released a pack of 15 Wild Dogs that had been illegally captured in Limpopo.
A farmer in the area had captured the free roaming dogs and held them in a boma on his farm. Because he was temporarily holding a group of seven female dogs on behalf of the EWT, he called Kelly Marnewick, the Manager of the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme (EWT-CCP), and informed her that he had caught the canines. Ms Marnewick advised him that the best course of action for the dogs was to release the animals back into the wild immediately but the farmer was not satisfied with this option as he claimed the animals posed a danger to local game and livestock. He wanted the animals relocated elsewhere for release. It has not however, been established that these dogs were in fact causing any degree of conflict with local farmers and were in fact a threat to any livestock at all. Relocation of Wild Dogs is also not that simple and is not a viable course of action for four reasons.
• First, the population of Wild Dogs in the Waterberg is so small that removal of an entire group may push the population to extinction.
• Second, there are no protected areas in South Africa that have space for the dogs. There are currently eight reserves that house reintroduced Wild Dogs and these are all currently at capacity.
• Third, a larger pack of 15 dogs is more resilient than a pack of eight dogs. The reason is that if eight dogs in a pack of 15 are killed the pack can continue to breed and survive but if the pack is reduced to just eight members and even four of that eight die, the pack is likely to die out as breeding is no longer viable.
• And fourth, research has demonstrated that the relocation of animals does not resolve human-wildlife conflict. The only way to deal with conflict is by supporting landowners and helping them to implement non-lethal predator control such as the introduction of livestock guarding dogs.
It was also evident that the farmer wanted to breed with the dogs and undertake research that is not necessarily indicated for the future well-being of this Endangered species.
Ms Marnewick then spent the following weeks post this removal of the dogs from the wild working with the Limpopo Economic Development, Environment & Tourism (LEDET) to get the relevant permissions to collar and release the dogs back into their natural habitat, and arranged the veterinary assistance to support LEDET in the release. Despite the farmer not being in possession of any permits to have caught or kept these animals on his property, he refused to allow the EWT to remove the dogs from his camp. The EWT once more referred the matter to the LEDET and involved the Centre for Environmental Rights who encouraged all parties to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation that was drafted in order to protect the animals and act in the best interests of conservation. The dogs were finally seized by LEDET. A satellite collar was fitted to one of the dogs and genetic samples and identification photographs were taken from each dog. The entire pack was transported to an undisclosed venue in Limpopo province where they were released and their movements will be monitored via the satellite collar.
Said Ms Marnewick: "African Wild Dogs are protected in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) and the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations of 2007 (ToPS). They are categorised as an Endangered Species (EN) – Indigenous species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, although they are not critically endangered. The activities of capturing, transporting, hunting or killing ToPS listed species require a permit from the relevant conservation authority, and where no permits have been issued for such activities, it is deemed a crime."
Limpopo is one of the last remaining provinces in South Africa that still has free roaming Wild Dogs. This means that they were not reintroduced and did not escape from any fenced reserves, but rather they occur naturally outside of fenced reserves. Genetic testing conducted on the Waterberg Wild Dogs has demonstrated that they are genetically distinct from the Wild Dogs in the Kruger National Park and in other smaller reserves in South Africa. This makes this group of dogs critically important in a species that is on the verge of extinction. Because Wild Dogs occupy such vast ranges (each pack can range over more than 2,000 km2) it is extremely difficult to determine the population dynamics of Wild Dogs in the Waterberg. However, recent estimates put their numbers at between 3 to 4 packs of Wild Dogs left in the area with some smaller groups of dispersing animals.
"There are just 450 Wild Dogs left in South Africa and it is crucial that those remaining in the wild remain free roaming and protected. The pack that was captured and finally released constitutes more than 3% of the total remaining national population of this species. Conflict between carnivores and farmers over the killing of game is a reality in Limpopo but many farmers have chosen to implement conflict mitigation measures in partnership with the EWT such as the use of Livestock Guarding Dogs in the interests of being part of the movement to conserve this species and ensure its survival for future generations. The EWT works closely with a large number of farmers in the region and most have indicated no problems with the free roaming dogs at all. Most were in fact happy to see them released again," concluded Ms Marnewick.
If you know or hear about any activity that will bring harm to Wild Dogs, have any photographs or sighting details or require information about Wild Dogs and conflict mitigation measures that benefit farmers and carnivores please contact Derek on Derekv@ewt.org.za.
The release operation was funded through the EWT’s Bosman Wild Dog Emergency Response Fund. We are also grateful to Dr Peter Caldwell and his team from Old Chapel Vet Clinic for their assistance and to Lampbert van der Westhuizen of West Dunes Aviation for being on standby with his chopper. Thanks too to the Centre for Environmental Rights for working to ensure that these dogs were released.
The EWT’s Wild Dog work in Limpopo is supported by Investec Properties, Jaguar-Land Rover South Africa, Land Rover Centurion, Vaughan de la Harpe, GCCL2 - Richard Bosman, Painted Wolf Wines, South African National Parks Honourary Rangers and IQ Business.
To read More: www.ewt.org.za

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Africa Hunting : Africa: White House On U.S. Strategy to Counter Illegal Wildlife Trade

on 2014/2/16 5:57:39 (1716 reads)

FACT SHEET: National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking & Commercial Ban on Trade in Elephant Ivory

Today the United States announced a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. The Strategy will strengthen U.S. leadership on addressing the serious and urgent conservation and global security threat posed by illegal trade in wildlife.

In addition to the strategy, we are also announcing a ban on commercial trade of elephant ivory, which will enhance our efforts to protect iconic species like elephants and rhinos by prohibiting the import, export, or resale within the United States of elephant ivory except in a very limited number of circumstances.

Taken together, these actions will help ensure that the United States is not contributing to poaching of elephants and illegal trade in elephant ivory.

THE STRATEGY

The National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking establishes guiding principles for U.S. efforts to stem illegal trade in wildlife. It sets three strategic priorities: strengthening domestic and global enforcement; reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad; and strengthening partnerships with international partners, local communities, NGOs, private industry, and others to combat illegal wildlife poaching and trade.

THE IVORY BAN

Today we are also we are also announcing a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, which will enhance our ability to protect elephants by prohibiting commercial imports, exports and domestic sale of ivory, with a very limited number of exceptions. This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild.

To begin implementing these new controls, federal Departments and Agencies will immediately undertake administrative actions to:

- Prohibit Commercial Import of African Elephant Ivory: All commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques, will be prohibited.

- Prohibit Commercial Export of Elephant Ivory: All commercial exports will be prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, certain noncommercial items, and in exceptional circumstances permitted under the Endangered Species Act.

- Significantly Restrict Domestic Resale of Elephant Ivory: We will finalize a proposed rule that will reaffirm and clarify that sales across state lines are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, and will prohibit sales within a state unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants, or under an exemption document.

- Clarify the Definition of "Antique": To qualify as an antique, an item must be more than 100 years old and meet other requirements under the Endangered Species Act. The onus will now fall on the importer, exporter, or seller to demonstrate that an item meets these criteria.

- Restore Endangered Species Act Protection for African Elephants: We will revoke a previous Fish and Wildlife Service special rule that had relaxed Endangered Species Act restrictions on African elephant ivory trade.

- Support Limited Sport-hunting of African Elephants: We will limit the number of African elephant sport-hunted trophies that an individual can import to two per hunter per year.

The United States will continue to lead global efforts to protect the world's iconic animals and preserve our planet's natural beauty for future generations. Combating wildlife trafficking will require the shared understanding, commitment, and efforts of the world's governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, corporations, civil society, and individuals. At this week's London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, we hope other countries will join us in taking ambitious action to combat wildlife trafficking. In the coming months, we will take further steps to implement the National Strategy, and will work with the Congress to strengthen existing laws and adopt new ones to enhance our ability to address this global challenge.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201402121055.html

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Africa Hunting : Tanzania: Anti-Poaching Efforts to Be Enhanced in Tanzania Parks

on 2014/2/5 15:27:17 (1684 reads)

Arusha, Tanzania — Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) the custodian of 16 national parks in Tanzania, has sent a strong message to all workers of the national parks, conservation agencies and other public institutions related to wildlife that if they are found to collude with the syndicate of people behind poaching activities they would face tough consequences.

TANAPA's Director General, Mr. Allan Kijazi said in Arusha last week that the war against poaching should be "a collective responsibility" and has to involve the conservation agency and other security organs as well as the community at large.

Kijazi warned that the state machinery was "already at work", tracing the brains behind the massacre of wildlife, illegal ivory trade and other vices aiming to deplete the country's wildlife heritage.

"It is estimated that the country is losing 30 elephants per day or 10,000 in a year. At the current rate of poaching, it is feared there will be no elephants in Tanzania in ten years' time," Kijazi said.

He stressed that wildlife was key to the country's tourism industry, but that the increasing incidence of poaching, mainly targeting the elephants, could threaten the multi-million dollar industry, now the leading foreign exchange earner for the economy.

Besides the elephants, hunted for their ivory, other animals targeted by the poachers are rhinos, for their highly prized horns, leopards, cheetahs, lions, hippopotamus and a host of others.

Kijazi, who was speaking to TANAPA employees and their families during a 'Family Day' organized annually, said the parks body would continue to strengthen its anti-poaching unit and that 100 game rangers have just passed out and that many more would follow later this year.

"In addition to boosting rangers' stable, we are also going to be ordering new artillery and equipment to ensure that the force is well-armed to protect our national heritage", he pointed out.

Stakeholders in the tourism sector have warned that poaching activities threatened the Tanzania's elephant population.

The Tourism Confederation of Tanzania (TCT), an umbrella organization representing the tourism private business sector involved in travel and tourism, has appealed to the government to reconsider its decision to suspend indefinitely the anti-poaching campaign, Operation Terminate (Operation Tokomeza) on grounds of human rights abuse and violation.

A statement issued by TCT in Arusha a few weeks ago beseeched the government to continue with the operation. "It is the position of TCT that the suspension of the operation will only aggravate the situation by giving poachers and their sponsors more time to reorganize and plan for some new strategies that may have devastating effects on the remaining elephant herds in the wilderness," read part of the statement.

The TCT's current members include the Tanzania Association of Travel Agents, Tanzania Air Operators Association, Hotels Association of Tanzania, Intra-African Travel and Tourism Association and the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association.

Others are a Tanzania Professional Hunters Association, Tanzania Tour Guides Association, Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors, Tanzania Association of Tour Operators and Tourism and Hospitality Professionals Association of Tanzania.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201402041257.html

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Africa Hunting : South Africa: Colour Variants – A Rare Hunting Trophy

on 2014/2/3 13:39:34 (1788 reads)

Although the hunting of the big five remains the more popular choice for many hunters coming to South Africa, there are those individuals whose love for hunting plains game cannot be stifled.

According to the owner of Matlabas Game Hunters Willem Frost, the hunting of some of the smaller animals can be a greater challenge due to their habitat, limited distribution ranges and the habits of the species.

“Not all trophy hunters are able to build a vast collection of African trophies,” Willem says in his blog.

A trophy of that of the greater kudu displaying the characteristic sizable horns can look equally spectacular to that of the more expensive sable or roan antelope, at a much lower cost.
“Naturally, a hunting safari in South Africa can be a combination of plains game with the hunting of the larger, more dangerous animals,” Freddie Oosterhuis from Hunting Legends International says.

“The variety of rare game species, especially that of the color variants available for hunting today, by far exceeds that of a decade ago,” Freddie says, stating that South Africa remains one of the few countries in the world where the hunting of rare species continue to be happening on the scale it currently does.

“Most overseas hunters are familiar with the mainstream tendency of either hunting the more expensive dangerous animals making part of many a hunter’s bucket list, or the shooting of a selection of plains game species. When we however mention the option of hunting a black impala ram or golden wildebeest, the trophy hunter considers making it part of his strategy for acquiring the necessary trophies worth boasting about.”

The trophy of white, black and copper springbuck for example, is indeed a rare sight against any wall in South Africa, let alone overseas.

Freddie also says that it only make sense that the price tag on the hunting of rare species and color variants surpasses that of normal plain game, but as countless international hunters will testify, it’s worth every dollar.

“The wildebeest especially shows an unbelievable inherited diversity found in the South African wildlife populations, contributing to very healthy hunting experiences.”
Hunting Legends

http://www.newswire.net/newsroom/pr/0 ... -plains-game-hunting.html

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