CapeNature says their decision to issue permits for baboon hunting by two farms in Constantia was reasonable.Marietjie Engelbrecht, spokesperson, says proper procedures were followed and the farm owners had proven their attempts to implement other preventative measures before considering applying for permits to hunt and kill baboons.Engelbrecht explains this shortly after conflicting reports about the killing of baboons emerged on social networks earlier this month, revealing that baboon hunting permits had been issued to two winery farms. Permits were issued in October last year and allow farmers to kill two baboons a day. She says there are legislation and roles of the different authorities and private landowners when dealing with human/wildlife conflict. “There is national legislation in place that guides the country’s environmental and biodiversity conservation legal framework. This is promulgated by the National Department of Environmental Affairs, for example the National Environment Management Act, etc. Each province will then have a mandate to manage biodiversity conservation within the province itself within that legal framework. In the Western Cape, the conservation authority is CapeNature.”She explains that in terms of the provisions of the Nature Conservation Ordinance, they are obliged to provide a legal framework for landowners to manage biodiversity and Human/Wildlife conflict on their land.She says the primary responsibility of CapeNature regarding the management of human/wildlife conflict should be seen as providing the legal framework including permitting, compliance management as well as an advisory service within the province.Engelbrecht says CapeNature is also responsible for dealing with any transgression of the ordinance or provincial regulations regarding the hunting, captivity, sale, breeding, theft and transport of wild animals.According to her, since agriculture falls outside of the parameters of the suburban area, it is the responsibility of the landowner to manage the human/wildlife conflict on their own property. “The wine farms in question, on valid grounds as landowner, then applied for permits after their attempts to holistically manage human/wildlife conflict on their properties. “This does not imply that they will cease to utilise their existing non-lethal methods like baboon monitors, electric fence, etc. CapeNature supports the holistic management of human/wildlife conflict by promoting and motivating non-lethal methods of deterring raiding behaviour as far as possible. “It is important to know that these decisions are not taken lightly and that there is a legislative framework for the landowner to act if all non-lethal methods have been exhausted to mitigate against human/wildlife conflict.” V Continued on page 3.