Limpopo hunting farm did nothing wrong - environment dept

2015-09-08 20:15
Kimber hunting rifle

Kimber hunting rifle

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Johannesburg - The hunting farm outside Alldays at the centre of a social media outcry is doing everything by the book, the Limpopo environment department said, following a visit to the farm.

"Our inspection tells us that the game farm is a legal entity and it is land that has been given back to the community," spokesperson Simon Matume told News24. Matume said he spent about seven hours at the farm on Tuesday.

"Part of their income generation comes from hunting, and as you would know, hunting is legal in South Africa.

"In our terms, it is governed by the Limpopo Environmental Management Act and we authorise hunting as an economic activity and we issue licences for potential hunters, including international investors."

The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) said despite a public outcry, 18 animals were killed at the farm on Monday.

"It is with sadness that we have to report that the hunt has continued despite the phenomenal public outcry opposing this. We can confirm that 18 animals were killed [on Monday], including gemsbuck, eland, wildebeest, warthog, Impala and duiker. We mourn their lives," the NSPCA said on its Facebook page.

Earlier on Monday, the NSPCA obtained a warrant to inspect the farm it believed was hosting a 2km-long game shoot from platforms.

It had launched a Facebook campaign on Friday urging people to contact the department to stop the hunt it believed was going to be a "massacre" of animals in the area.

"On Monday the 7th September hundreds of wild animals will be killed in a mass slaughter as part of a driven hunt in Limpopo on three game farms just outside of Alldays," the post read.

"A variety of wild animals, including antelope, baboon and warthog, will be chased down a specially cleared 2km stretch of land into a wall of gunfire."

The post explained driven hunting was not illegal, but was "unethical and inhumane as a clean shot and certain death cannot be guaranteed".  

'The meat is benefiting the local community'

Matume said the department had had inspectors at the farm since Friday and, while he was present, they saw international tourists, some of whom were hunters.

"We went and found out about the purported massacre claims and we found all the laws are being observed," he said.

"Even our Green Scorpions, the environmental inspectors, are on site and the numbers claimed yesterday, in the hundreds, is actually not more than 25."

On Tuesday, the department had checked after lunch how many animals had been killed, with four being counted.

"The licence conditions indicate which animals may be hunted for sport. The participants are complying with that," he said.

"I even visited the abattoir. There are few carcasses there because the hunters only take the head and the remainder of the carcasses are taken to the local community," Matume said.

"The meat is benefiting the local community. That is what we found there."

The department will issue a formal statement on the matter soon.

Read more on:    nspca  |  environmental affairs  |  polokwane  |  conservation  |  hunting

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