In a statement on February 25 announcing the 2022 quotas, the forestry, fisheries and environment department said: “Regulated and sustainable hunting is an important conservation tool in SA as it incentivises the private sector and communities to conserve valuable wildlife species and to participate in wildlife-based land uses, ultimately contributing to the conservation of the country’s biodiversity.
“Income generated by trophy hunting is especially critical for marginalised and impoverished rural communities.”
HSI/Africa said its latest “Trophy Hunting by the Numbers” report contradicts this, finding 83% of trophies exported from SA are from captive-bred animals, non-native species or species such as caracal, baboons and honey badgers that are not subject to scientific management plans.
“Hunting animals in these circumstances cannot be understood to advance the conservation of biodiversity,” it said.
Gerrans said the economic and conservation benefits of trophy hunting are “materially overstated”, adding: “It is not true to assert that without trophy hunting revenues, conservation in SA would be unfunded.
“More beneficial, transformational long-term alternatives to the killing of threatened, vulnerable and endangered animals for fun already exist.
“Everyone has the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that promote conservation.”