The Mercury

Outright hunting ban not the answer


WHILE the hullabaloo around canned lion hunting (remember this is not a ban on lion hunting) and the lion bone trade continues, some background is needed on this and rhino-horn farming.

Private lion and rhino breeding have become sustainabl­e capital and labour-intensive businesses on their own. Buffalo and sable farming/hunting are other huge industries and no one seems to have any issues around them. Many feedlots and game farms have surplus or waste that is fed to predators.

Near Klerksdorp is a rhino farm which has a security detail not seen even on some of our military bases in South Africa. Patrols with hi-tech cameras guard the animals 24/7, 365 days a year. The farmer/investor is a true legend.

From the time the rhino is born to the harvesting of the horn (which grows like your fingernail­s); these animals are safer than in your government game reserve. The horns are transporte­d using cash-in-transit companies (and here the Prinsloo and Lloyd team gets involved).

A question I have is: what’s the difference between a feedlot animal and a canned hunt? If bones are a by-product or an animal is bred for resale by a registered farmer using “waste” from feedlots; game farms and breeding their own animals to feed lions and predators.

The private wild game industry is a huge value-added generator of employment and business opportunit­ies on various levels. Better regulation and enforcemen­t is the answer, not an outright ban.

MUHAMMAD OMAR | Durban North

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