Big cat trade a killer

2011-06-13 21:37

Johannesburg - The legal and illegal trade of leopards and cheetah in South Africa is impacting on the two species' populations, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) said on Monday.

The EWT arranged a workshop last year to determine whether current hunting quotas for leopards and the lack of hunting quotas for cheetah were justified, manager for EWT's carnivore conservation programme Kelly Marnewick said in a statement.

"The legal trade of cheetah in South Africa is poorly regulated with some so-called ‘breeding centres’ sourcing their animals from the wild.

"The trade in live cheetah in South Africa is fraught with irregularities and loop holes in the permitting system," she said.

South Africa did not have a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) quota for cheetah trophies. However, wildlife ranching and trophy hunting industries, are calling for that to change.

The workshop had to assess whether a Cites quota for cheetah would be justified.

Cites, is an international treaty drawn up in 1973 to protect wildlife against over-exploitation.

"The largest part of South Africa’s cheetah population occurs outside protected areas on privately owned cattle and wildlife ranches and as a result, conflict with landowners is common," Marnewick said.


"Little is known about the status and growth trends of the cheetah population in South Africa and the legal trade in live animals appears to be a major threat to cheetah survival."

Both species listed are on Cites, which states that trade in leopard and cheetah was permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

Leopard had a quota of 150 trophies in South Africa. Marnewick said ETW supported the on going retention of the quota.

She said it was inadvisable to issue a quota for the cheetah at this time as there was inadequate knowledge of the population size and trends.

"...Quota for trophy hunting of cheetah should not be issued until problems associated with the trophy hunting of leopards are resolved."

Marnewick said the carnivore conservation programme and the South African National Biodiversity Institute were implementing a project to asses the scale and impact of how cheetah and leopards' body parts are used.

  • 420 - 2011-06-13 21:57

    Hunting on a full stomach kind of defeats the purpose right? Disgusting "sport"

  • Matt Jackson - 2011-06-13 22:55

    There is a group I came across on Facebook who are producing a documentary to raise awareness on the illegal cat hide trade. or

  • Pasha - 2011-06-14 05:31

    This is a sad sick pastime. Canned hunting or any hunting to shoot and kill such magnificent animals. What has become of the human mind???

      Krolie - 2011-06-14 06:34

      It's despicable, and "people" participating in this, deserve no respect at all. Those that go all out to breed animals for the sole purpose to be "hunted" down practically sitting on your backside, and the poor animal has nowhere to go or to defend itself against a bullet!... Disgusting cowards! Perhaps the tables should be turned - give them a bit of a taste and put them in a confined space with a lion, cheetah, leopard...let's see how they would cope! Government should stop this. It should be made illegal, and those that participate should get the toughest sentence possible. As far as I am concerned, these "people" all fall under the category murderer and rapist! It is disgusting that international tourists come to SA specifically for this kind of "hunting" just so that they can go back home with their trophy and say "I did this, look how great I am, the hunter of the year"! These "people" should all be named and shamed on a regular basis - much like a paedofile would be!

      Eros82 - 2011-06-14 08:57

      Hunting has been part of the "human mind" since the dawn of's in our DNA! Without hunting there would be no wildlife left in this country. It is a sad fact that if something does not have a commercial value to man then it will be wiped out in the blink of an eye in order to make way for something else that does. If hunting were to be banned all the game farms in this country would be turned into cattle/crop farms and that would mean the end of natural areas and the animals these areas support.

  • Karoo18 - 2011-06-14 06:24

    EWT is clueless about the status of the cheetah in RSA

  • VADERLAND - 2011-06-14 08:16

    I can't understand why society finds it morally acceptable to hunt and shoot these animals. There would be a huge outcry if we start shooting dogs and cats as a sport, so why should a wild animal be treated any different?

      Peter - 2011-06-14 09:17

      Vaderland, your flag shows off your mentality.What is the difference between breeding sheep or cattle for slaughter and breeding wildlife for hunting.As crazy as it may sound to you,if it wasn't for hunters and hunting there would be no wildlife left.

  • janine.spamers - 2011-06-14 08:32

    Please stop killing cheetah and tigers - they want to live just like any humans, its murder...

      Wayne - 2011-06-14 13:50

      I agree but don't you think that juicy steak that you are having for supper wanted to live as well?

  • Carolyn - 2011-06-14 08:40

    Instead of hunting the big cats, is it not time to hunt the killers of farmers, let these thugs run free and then go after them with your guns Just think of how many shrunken heads you could collect for your walls.

  • Lisamarie - 2011-06-14 15:50

    So very typical of the corpse-munching world!! We need to learn to STOP seeing humans, or in many cases sub-humans, as superior and high-and-mighty like we're the only species on Earth. We're NOT!! We share this world with thousands of other species and just because they're not human does NOT mean we have the right to "decide" on whether or not they get to live, just because some sick-minded murderers, or would-be murderers "say so"! Seriously, just what gives us the RIGHT to take ANYone's natural life??????? I'll tell you what--NOTHING! Anyone who takes the life of ANY being should be recognized as a criminal and put behind bars, regardless of the species of the victim. PERIOD!

  • Maribel Meyerhans - 2011-06-17 18:59

    Why don't hunters not shoot one another?? That would be much more fun than shooting inocent and beatuful animals!!

  • lyn.duplessis - 2011-11-07 09:05

    Ban all trophy hunting until someone on government knows what they are doing! Save our animals from the threat of extinction!

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