Government grants hunting and export permits for big game

Government grants hunting and export permits for big game

The government has made changes to hunting permits in South Africa.

The Black Rhino/Unplash

The South African government has made a big decision regarding hunting permits.

Included in the new permit is the black rhino, listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

The new big game permits include the black rhino and leopards.

Read more: Good news! South Africa to ban lion breeding in captivity for hunting!

The government decision has been controversial, considering the importance of preserving game like the black rhino, but they’ve said that their allocated quota for rhinos are based on population estimates. According to ONe Earth, the black rhino population is showing an increasing growth trend at the moment.

According to News24, the hunting and export permits for dozens of big game, including 10 critically endangered black rhino and a similar number of leopards.

Read more Uptick in rhino poaching in South Africa

New hunting permit guidelines will include:

  • 150 elephants, in line with international laws on the trade of endangered species to be killed, stating that our elephant population is growing and that fewer than 0.3 percent are hunted each year.
  • proceeds from government-approved annual hunting quotas will go towards local rural communities in which the hunts took place.
  • a total of 10 black rhino may be hunted, the forestry and environment ministry announced.
  • leopard hunts are restricted to cats aged seven years and older, and hunts will only be allowed in regions where the large cat populations have shown signs of stability and steadily increasing in numbers.

Watch: Wild stuff - a lion wanders freely on the N10 highway!

The state of poaching

Poaching of white rhinos reached crisis levels between 2014 and 2017, when a thousand were killed on average each year, with those numbers decreasing to 451 in 2021.

The animals are killed for their horns, which are then smuggled into Asia, where they are believed to have medicinal benefits.

Read more: Vietnam gives longest ever jail term for trading rhino horn: NGO

Hunting is a big business in South Africa, bringing in around R1.4 billion before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, there has been an uptick in rhino poaching in South Africa.

Breeding and canned hunting

In May 2021, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy announced a plan to ban the breeding of lions in captivity for trophy hunting or for tourists.

While game hunting remains a popular pastime for locals and tourists alike, many have spoken out about the cruelty that comes with trophy hunting. Many international tourists visit South Africa to hunt wild animals like lions, giraffes, and other animals and, as a result, breeding lions specifically for hunting became a popular way to make money. 

Read more: Radioactive rhino horns may deter poachers in SA

For more information, visit the SA Hunter and Game Conservation Association or on the International Union of the Conservation of Nature website.

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Original source: News24

Main image attribution: Unsplash

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