Botswana to ban wildlife hunting

2012-11-29 13:21

Gaborone - Botswana, one of Africa's premier safari destinations, said Thursday it will ban commercial hunting of wildlife because of a decline in animal populations.

The government has decided to "indefinitely suspend commercial hunting of wildlife in public or controlled hunting areas" from 1 January 2014, the environment ministry said in a statement.

The government of the diamond-rich country stated that the killing of wild game for sport was no longer seen to be "compatible with either our national commitment to conserve and preserve local fauna or the long term growth of the local tourism industry".

Tourism contributes about 12% to Botswana's gross domestic product.

Hunting concessions in the vast southern African country currently exist in the Okavango Delta and in parks in the Kalahari region, famous for its high-end tourism facilities.

The country boasts large numbers of big game like elephant, lion and buffalo, but the government has voiced concern over a sharp decline in some species.

"If left unchecked this decline poses a genuine threat to both the conservation of our natural heritage and the long term health of the local tourist industry which currently ranks second to diamonds in terms of its revenue earnings," the ministry said.

It added that individual licences for specific game, in specific circumstances, would be assessed.

The ban was foreshadowed by President Ian Khama in his state of the nation address last month.

Earlier this year Spanish King Juan Carlos, 74, went on what was to become an infamous elephant hunting trip in Botswana's northern Okavango region.

The trip attracted widespread criticism back home, as the country was battling an economic decline.

His expedition was cut short after he suffered a hip injury.

  • vernon.meakin - 2012-11-29 13:39

    One country in Africa that is doing the corrcet thing>Well done Bots great news.

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 13:55

      Unfortunately it will be devastating to to game farmers in the region who contribute to the protection of game species! This is really not a smart move, they just need to regulate hunting practices and licenses more effectively. I doubt that it is tourists/commercial hunting who are responsible for the decline in numbers, most probably poachers.

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 15:05

      Fair, but i would feel more depraved if no one kept wild animals anymore, and it is regarded as a sport, and if you think hunting is easy, you're wrong. You have to pay a crap load of money to get the privilege to go hunting. So by people hunting you create an industry that is focused on preservation and conservation because there is a monetary benefit to them, if you ban it, suddenly there is no money and the farmers will keep as little as possible on their lands and rather farm with cattle instead. I know it may seem cruel but it is the only way to conserve these beautiful animals, and to ensure that there is meaningful breeding to keep the populations stable. Trus me no one who allows hunting on their farms just let people come in shoot whatever they want, it about keeping the ecological equilibrium on the farm, and it's more expensive to buy a new animal so it would be stupid to shoot too many and hurt the herd. You just want to ensure that there is enough grazing for the next season. The same thing that lions and leopards did. Only we get to enjoy the meat and biltong.

      gordon.turner.37 - 2012-11-29 15:08

      False Brad. These are not ranches animals like south africa, these are free roaming wild animals and this is a terrific move. South africa has a different set of rules completely

      heinrich.spreeth - 2012-11-29 15:17

      Sadly I have to agree with bradh. Even though i have never hunted and have NO interest to do so in any way. Having a farm where wildlife is held and allowed to breed makes sense. Just banning all hunting will probably just boost illegal hunting and people will have less need for wildlife population to expand. Strict laws on hunting vs population sounds like a better plan to me with the very little information I have.

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 15:26

      Gordon, although most of Botswana is a reserve and you need permits to hunt in them there are farms as well. The amount of hunting being done in reserves should be restricted and controlled, and that is a function of the government to ensure their heritage. But why ban it as a whole?

      tert.lepa - 2012-11-29 20:44

      Now if only South-Africa can do the same. Why kill Gods creatures for mans pleasure.??? Well done Botswana.

  • keithdutoit.keith - 2012-11-29 13:49

    thats good should have happened a long time ago

  • gian.robberts - 2012-11-29 13:53

    All commercial hunting in the world MUST stop, all the animals are endangered on earth curretnly, why do we even hunt when our supermarkets are full of meat for cheaper, not t mention all the Poaching of animals that kills out and send animals on the endangered species list and even extintion list, There is no common senseical reason to why rich people are hunting animals, they can buy meat at the shop, and leave the wildlife that we still have, economicly there can rather be an increase in people watching the animals and not shooting them. We need to drastically look at a alterrrrnative system that runs the world, if a economic system is dependant on endangering Life on earth to sustain itself it is a clear indication that such an economical system isnt best for all life, actually it isnt even best for anything. We are killing our planet quite fast for the sake of economic growth, where is the human inteligance in that.

      eeva.devilliers - 2012-11-29 14:27

      Gian U clearly do not know anything about hunting or the industry. If it was not for hunting most animals would be extint already. Hunting gives value to the animals and that is why people farm with game. Who would like to have animals on their property that have no value, then the game farmers will get rid off all their game and start farming with sheep and cattle again. Do you think hunters shoot all the animals and leave nothing for the next season to hunt? Game Farm owners hunt a small percentage of the game on their farms. Do you eat biltong? if you do were do you think it comes from yes you can buy it in a shop but an animal has to be hunted for you to eat biltong.

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 14:33

      So you want to get rid of the hundreds of thousands of wild animals on a private farms so that only domestic animals are eaten? Smart. Now to get rid of all the pretty species we just saved from extinction, just so you can have only animals in reserves. Why do you even think we still have rhinos? It's because they had a monetary value, now with the poaching and ban on hunting no one wants them anymore they are just a liability, same will happen with the other endangered species! Seems that you have no idea how good hunting industry is for endangered species and conservation, they go hand in hand, people only farm with what they can sell, and if you can't sell something why bother? Goodbye to all the animals in Botswana, now no one will keep your numbers in check, as there are no more predators, so they will just have to starve? You fools, how can you be so cruel!

      steve.impala.75 - 2012-11-29 14:34

      Why stop there, why not ban the killing of tame farm animals too, o and ban fishing aswell....banning wont help. Controlled hunting of animals does not endanger them even close to the amount deforestation does, to make room for all the breeding people. I say rather ban people having the amounts of children that they do!

      Shane Smythe - 2012-11-29 14:38

      well said eeva seem to be the only intelligent person commenting here

      gian.robberts - 2012-11-29 17:15

      clearly no one red what I said, I did not say anything about replacing the wildlife with domestic farming animals. I am saying if we continue on this route there will be no more animals - do your research, Conservation camps and animals reserves was created to protect the animals from the Human. how evil can we be, this is their planet as much as it is ours, yet we trap them in fences to protect them from us and then we Place value on their heads and shoot them for fun, get real. we need to stop this Idea that everyone has that a animal only has value if it has Money value, the value of any and all animals is LIFE, without animals on this planet everyone is dead. your life depends on them and not the other way around. eeva.devilliers you clearly do not value animals unless they have money tags on their heads, how sad if you lived in a world where there is no money you would simply kill them all because they have no value for you!! they are LIFE not your entertainment. there are more animals on this planet then humans yet they have less space then us, most of the earth is farms, we are suffocating the wild and killing our planet, anyone that justifies the in the face of facts aren't willing to see beyond self interest. you can get bolting from the billions of cows that is in concentration camps for meat purposes.lets not make them suffer for nothing.

  • werner.niksch - 2012-11-29 13:54

    we can learn so much from botswana :)

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-29 14:47

      Yip like reinstating the death penalty and start setting a few examples

  • mari.theologo - 2012-11-29 14:12


  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-29 14:13

    This should also be done immediately in South Africa, so that some control can be achieved over the illegal poaching of our Rhino and Elephants. A good decent move by Botswana...... Hats off.

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 14:35

      How is banning hunting going to stop poaching? There is already a monatoriam on rhino hunting, no one wants to buy or breed with them anymore because you can't do anything with them anymore! Banning hunting will solve nothing, just make it worse!

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 14:37


      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-29 23:01

      Well at the moment in South Africa we have so many syndicates who have been allowed to 'hunt legally' but with further investigation it was revealed to be completely illegal..... If South Africa stopped any permits or legal hunting to take place for the next few years this would slow down the slaughter immediately, any body caught killing animals will then be illegal......period... untill enough checks and balances and preparations can be made for such activity to continue.

  • Sibusiso - 2012-11-29 14:14

    Congrats Botswana!One more thing that African counties need to do is to do away with this dual citizenship thing.You are either an African or a foreigner!

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-11-29 14:35

    Thank God for this, Animals are living beings as well and we humans are their voices. Some day all animals will dwell in Peace with Humans.

  • ed.gutsche - 2012-11-29 14:37

    FLIPPING AWESOME NEWS from the best run country in Africa... just shows you how far behind the rest are and how barbaric the MAJORITY (cos in some cases it is necessary) of hunting really is...

  • Johnny - 2012-11-29 14:48

    Congratulations to Botswana for taking this decission. They care for their wildlife unlike SA

  • paulvs1 - 2012-11-29 14:51

    Well done Botswana, no more drunken weekend hunters thinking they are men, jusy because they can shoot or kill innocent wildlife. Now they have to get something else to do to make them feel like a man, for all these weekend hunters have a short......"gun", so to speak, and by killing animals, they think they are pretty tough,and very manly GO BOTSWANA !!!!

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-29 15:19

      Yes and the pink shirt says allot... But thanks to all those drunken weekend hunters we have a thriving wildlife industry, who support the conservation and preservation of animals.

  • bbooyse - 2012-11-29 15:08

    Just a note to the people here: poaching (which also includes cage hunting) and legitimate hunting are not the same thing. Botswana is likely doing this because it became to difficult to control, though it's going to hurt their tourism..I'm not convinced by outlawing hunting you'll stop poaching.

  • pbboshoff - 2012-11-29 15:20

    This is very, very sad news. Just like in Kenya, we will now see the decimation of wildlife due to the ban of hunting. The animals will get de-valued and there will be no motivation to own a private game reserve. A sad day indeed

      bibi.vanzyl - 2012-11-29 15:41

      I don't think that there will be more poaching when hunting is outlawed. Although a problem, there is less poaching here in Kenya than in SA. We have plenty of private game reserve here, all lucrative without hunting. Honestly, what is the point in shooting giraffes - it cannot be much of a challenge.

      bbooyse - 2012-11-29 15:44

      Sometimes the point of hunting is culling numbers, not necessarily fun or entertainment

  • ModernMetaphysicist - 2012-11-29 15:52

    about time, now for the rest of Africa, sickening how some countries allow hunting to the extreme brink of extinction... even if illegal like rhino poaching, what does governments do to combat the ill behavior, step up Africa!!!

  • sakkie.pretorius1 - 2012-11-29 16:28

    I agree. The rest can learn from them.

  • norman.chandler.54 - 2012-11-29 16:33

    Poachers will have a field day. The number of animals being poached has already started to increase in Botswana.

  • gian.robberts - 2012-11-29 17:24

    animal life can not be dependent on Money, money can run out and budgets can force wildlife to not be cared for, corruption can kill animals out, we need to really look at what we are accepting and allowing through placing the future of our wildlife (earth) in the hands of money - its like signing a contract with Satan himself. the governments must make it their priorities to have lots of money for the protection of Life (wildlife) so that even if private farmers cant keep up or fail, or do not make money that the animals aren't effected. I am willing to put tax money towards that.its a shame the governments are even more corrupted then anything else. money is the most unstable thing we have created and yet we place the lifes of the innocents in the hands of money. we need a whole new world.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 17:32

    Well done Botswana. There's no need for rich Europeans and East Asians to be hunting for food. Africans have been successful in wild conservation for thousands of years without upsetting the balance in the ecosystem. We need to ascertain what made these techniques a success!

  • wendy.robinson.58760 - 2012-11-29 22:53

    Everyone who has commented that there is no commercial value in game unless it is hunted, has completely missed the point. Botswana is protecting its tourism industry - far more people are interested in seeing live animals than there are people who pay top notch to kill things. It's a volume game. That being said, Declining game numbers are more likely to be a factor of unsettled weather patterns, farming pressure and shrinking wild boundaries to reserves rather than hunting. This ban should allow some rebound, especially since hunters typically pick off the prime specimens as opposed to natural predation which would pick off the weakest. A recovery of the gene pool wil be good for all. Take only photos, leave only footprints....

      willa.prinsloo - 2012-11-30 10:51

      Wendy it has been proven by the University of North West that hunting generates a higher income for the owner than mere sight seeing tourists. It is a matter of sustaining the land - most of the game farms are in arid areas wher the only other viable farming is herd farming. So you have a choice : either stock the farm with cattle, or game. Then to generate income, hunt the game in a responsible manner. And most of the hunters in South Africa ( once again emperically proven) hunt for the meat, not merely to take a trophy home. Just as a matter of interest, local communities always received the meat hunted by overseas hunters in Botswana - how will they now receive their nyama ?

  • dylan.mugabe - 2012-11-29 22:53

    Very good news. Will be good to SA follow.

  • klebepe - 2012-11-29 22:57

    Yes Botswana!

  • tobie.schalkwyk.7 - 2012-11-30 07:14

    Good for them! Except for elephants, perhaps. They're totally over populated and destroying trees at a scary rate.

  • craig.lowe.3572 - 2012-11-30 12:08


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