Group slams 'light' sentence over rare vultures

2014-10-19 21:11

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Port Elizabeth - South Africa's largest bird conservation lobby on Sunday lashed out at the R10 000 "light sentence" imposed on a farmer who poisoned 46 threatened Cape vultures.

Armand Aucamp, 34, was on Thursday fined R10 000 after pleading guilty to lacing a sheep's carcass with carbofuran, a powerful insecticide.

Forty-six Cape vultures ate from the sheep and died in December last year. Fewer than 4 000 Cape vultures remain in the wild globally. 

Aucamp, who is from the Eastern Cape,  also got a suspended one-year jail term.

Kerri Wolter, the founder of vulture conservation group Vulpro slammed the "very poor [sentence], given the numbers of the vultures killed".

"If one poaches a rhino, the impact is huge and the sentence is either a massive fine or jail term. We also want this to be applied to those who poison vultures," Wolter told AFP.

She said there were around 3 700 Cape vultures left globally. The big creamy-white vultures are found in southern Africa.

Also known as the Cape Griffon, the vultures are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Two months ago, dozens of jackal were poisoned at the Addo Elephant National Park in what wildlife authorities described as the country's "worst" ever incident of poisoning.

Park authorities said farmers around the park in the Eastern Cape were responsible for the poisoning as the jackal preyed on their sheep and goats.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  animals

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