NSPCA in bid to stop 'European-style' Limpopo hunt

2015-09-07 17:48
(Picture: SPCA)

(Picture: SPCA)

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Polokwane - The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) on Monday obtained a warrant to inspect a farm the organisation believes is hosting a 2km-long game shoot from platforms.

"They have successfully obtained the warrant to gain access to the farms. My inspectors are going to try and get on to the farm," NSPCA Wildlife Protection unit's Ainslee Hay said.

On Friday, the NSPCA launched a Facebook campaign urging followers to call or email the Limpopo department of the environment to stop the hunt it believed was going to be a "massacre" of animals in the Alldays area.

The post read: "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.

"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.

"Foreign hunters, in South Africa for a week of entertainment, will be standing on purpose-built platforms along the slaughter strip ready to take pot shots at these terrified animals. The animals have no chance of evading the onslaught and the hunters have no way of ensuring a clean shot or a humane death.

"The animal 'targets' are moving and there is no way to control the species or age of the animals that will be killed."

The post explained driven hunting was not illegal, but was "unethical and inhumane as a clean shot and certain death cannot be guaranteed".  Not killing the animal outright contravened the Animals Protection Act and the meat could not be eaten as it would be full of bullets.

'It is a European-style of hunting'

Hay told News24 that hunting with beaters was unusual in South Africa.

"It is completely for profit. It is a European-style of hunting - we've never heard of it in South Africa before.

"We normally track, [which is] not funnelling animals. It's not shooting animals on the move."

The land being used for the hunt is community-owned land being rented to individuals, she said.

The NSPCA cannot take action until any cruelty has happened, so the warrant will enable the inspectors to see what the hunters were doing, and then decide whether further action is needed.

News24 could not confirm late afternoon reports that hunting at stopped at 13:00 but Simon Matume, spokesperson for the provincial department of the environment said the department had sent a team to the farm to establish what is happening. "They must tell us what is happening on the ground."

After that the department hopes to be in a position to issue a statement.

The organisation Ban Animal Trading (BAT) said around midday: "Sorry Team BAT have to report the massacre is under way.

"The 'drivers' are driving these terrified wild animals out of the bush and down a specially cleared 2km stretch of land where 600 platforms have been erected for these lazy blood thirsty hunters to sit and shoot.

"We have megaphones and are shouting. We have sirens on loudspeakers and nothing will stop these murderers who have no heart, no compassion and are made up of pure evil."

Smaragda Louw, one of the BAT activistis said the hunters may have stopped for the afternoon, and might continue at night, but she was not sure.

Read more on:    nspca  |  polokwane  |  conservation  |  hunting

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