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CLEAR AS MUD – The Official Response to Questions Relating to Trophy Hunting in the Associated Private Nature Reserves, the Greater Kruger National Park

3rd November 2020

On the 6th August 2020 the EMS Foundation wrote an open letter to the Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy, the CEO of SanParks Fundisile Mketeni, the Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and SH Makhubele the CEO of LEDET with regard to our concerns relating to the elephant hunt that took place in the Balule Nature Reserve an associated Private Nature Reserve which joins the Kruger National Park on the 5th December 2019. To date we have not received a response to this letter.

In a meeting of the National Assembly on the 16th October 2020, Ms Hannah Winkler of the Democratic Alliance, asked the Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy the following important questions: 

What is the reasoning behind the Kruger National Park dropping fences to areas bordering the Park known as the Associated Private Nature Reserves, is this to allow free movement of protected animals or to allow for trophy hunting of these protected animals? 

What are the reasons that the decision to drop the fences to the surrounding APNRs was not brought before the Portfolio Committee on Environment Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries when it undermines the purpose of protecting wildlife in national parks?

Would Minister Creecy provide the concept document for the dropping of fences between the Kruger National Park and the Associated Private Reserves?

What are the terms of agreement on trophy hunting in these Associated Private Nature Reserves, and which authority provides oversight thereof?

Was Minister Creecy informed about the hunting of the bull elephant, who was shot eighteen times in the Kruger National Park on the 5th December, and what is the Minister’s position on this particular unethical hunt?

Minister Barbara Creecy responded to the questions as follows: 

“According to information at my disposal, the said elephant bull was hunted in a reserve within the APNR, in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements and the APNR Hunting protocol.  

Such hunts are overseen by the management structure of the reserves, together with the Provincial Conservation Authorities, they being the regulatory authorities tasked with monitoring compliance with the Protocol.

I am advised that during the particular hunt being refereed to, no tourists besides the hunting party were witness to the hunt.  I am also advised that the LEDET provided the documentation to substantiate that the permits were legally issued and that no laws were contravened.

According to information at my disposal, the hunt was legal and took place in accordance with the APNR Hunting Protocol.  The APNR off-take committee furthermore reviewed the incident and provided a ruling that the hunt was in accordance with the Protocol.  The provincial environmental authority LEDET conducted a full investigation into this matter.” 

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The EMS Foundation and Animal Law Reform South Africa – Answers to the DEFF High Level Panel Written Questions

1st November 2020

INTRODUCTION

The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries appointed a “High Level Panel of Experts for the Review of Policies, Legislation and Practices on Matters of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros Management: Breeding, Hunting, Trade and Handling” (“HLP” or “Panel”) in October 2019. The Panel made a call for submissions from stakeholders on 27 March 2020.

The EMS Foundation (“EMS”) and Animal Law Reform South Africa (“ALRSA”) (hereinafter collectively “we” or “us”) made a formal written submission (the “Submission”) to the HLP on 15 June 2020. We also made a virtual presentation at the public consultation held by the HLP on 6 October 2020 and answered questions orally (the “Oral Presentation”) (collectively our “Submissions”).

In this regard, we wish to refer to Appendix III of our Submission, being a copy of the written submission presented by the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, a centre of the University of Johannesburg (“SAIFAC”) as well as their virtual presentation at the public consultation held by the HLP on 6 October 2020 and their questions answered (“SAIFAC Submission”).

The Secretariat of the HLP sent further questions to EMS and ALRSA at 15h13 on the 20 October 2020. These are reproduced below in bold text. The Panel requested that answers be submitted by 26 October 2020, effectively giving EMS and ALRSA less than 5 working days to formulate further responses to over 15 highly complex questions (the “Questions”). Note that both EMS and ALRSA had other prior commitments particularly at this time and our capacity to respond at this time. In terms of an email from the HLP Secretariat to us dated 25 October 2020, the Panel agreed to accept answers by 2 November 2020.

The answers below therefore constitute a brief and non-exhaustive summary of EMS’ and ALRSA’s position on these issues given the prevailing circumstances at the current time. This document is to be read with our full Submission as well as in the context of the Oral Presentation.

We also wish to note that:
1. We have answered some of these questions in our Submissions;
2. Many of the questions received from the HLP are suggestive of a slant in favour of a pre-determined outcome and against the tenor of our submissions. Some of the questions make assumptions that are simply not accurate; and
3. Reference is made in the questions to “wildlife”. We were under the impression that the HLP was reviewing for “Subject Species” being – lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards.

We are non-profit organisations not mandated to determine all potential solutions to the issues considered by the Panel nor wildlife more generally in South Africa. We have pointed out issues with the current status quo, as well as provided potential solutions which will require further input and consideration. Accordingly, we have attempted to highlight some additional resources for the Panel which may be of assistance in providing further context and information. These are in addition to those included in our Submission and Oral Presentation.

We have included some clarifying points and questions below in order to properly equip us to answer the questions posed. These are indicated as “Clarificatory Question for the Panel:” below.

The disclaimers as contained in our Submission apply equally to this document with the necessary adjustments.

Michele Pickover

Director
EMS Foundation

Amy P. Wilson

Director
Animal Law Reform South Africa

THE FULL DOCUMENT:

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

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The Ill Treatment of Kataza (SK11) is the Tipping Point for the Need to Reconfigure the Protection of Chacma Baboons and their Natural Habitat in the Western Cape of South Africa

OPEN LETTER

Office of the Premier 

Per Email: Premier.Winde@westerncape.gov.za

30th October 2020

Dear Honourable Premier Winde,

Cape Town, with all its natural splendour, including the dramatic mountain and coastal landscapes, the world-class wineries and the spectacular beaches is a favoured destination of South Africans and travellers from all over the world. Voted as the best city in the world for seven years in a row by the London Telegraph, named the most beautiful city in the world by Buzzfeed and selected by the world’s top travel professionals to be seventh amongst the fifty of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

In July 2020 Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning announced that 72% of the municipalities in the Western Cape are in good financial health. “It’s simple.  These reports show that taxpayers money is going where it is meant to go and not to lining the pockets of friends and families of politicians or corrupt officials. Managing money well, not wasting or stealing it, is critical if you want to deliver the services needed to make the province a better place for all who live in it”. 

South Africa is the world’s third most biologically diverse country. The Cape Floristic Region is one of the Biodiversity Hotspots. The extraordinary endemism displayed by its flora, combined with a growing human population, rapid development, habitat loss, overexploitation, the introduction of alien species and the unforeseen effects of climate change, is contributing to a major conservation crisis. The rapid rate of urbanisation and development in Cape Town specifically, but also elsewhere in the Western Cape, is negatively affecting and placing extensive pressure on ecosystems, nature and wildlife. 

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DECEASED, A HUMPBACK WHALE, ANOTHER VICTIM OF FISHING EQUIPMENT ENTANGLEMENT SOUTH AFRICA

OPEN LETTER

Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy

30th September 2020

WHALES CONTINUE TO SUFFER FROM HUMAN-INDUCED TRAUMA RESULTING FROM FISHING ENTANGLEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The EMS Foundation formally requested from the Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy, by means of a letter dated 07 September 2020[1], an immediate moratorium on the use of non-movable fishery devices due to multiple fatal whale entanglements. We have, unfortunately, yet to receive an answer, to our request. 

On the 23rd of September 2020 the death of a Humpback was recorded in Sardinia Bay, Nelson Mandela Bay. 

Dr Greg Hofmeyer, conducted the necroscopy on the whale. He concluded that a fishing line from a long-line fishing boat wrapped around and cut into the body of the mammal, eventually rendering the whale unable to swim or feed. Flesh grew and festered around the wound and the whale slowly died. “This animal was really badly injured and was probably floating for a number of months while being unable to feed, before eventually die of starvation.”[2]

Dr Hofmeyer also reported a further two incidents in his interview with SABC News. “On the same day that the whale came ashore we also found on the beach a White-chinned Petrel, a type of sea bird, also entangled in fishing gut, and a dolphin washed ashore with a series of parallel cuts on its back which could only have been caused by a vessel propeller.   Three animals have been killed here, directly because of human behaviour.”

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WHALE ENTANGLEMENTS AN URGENT REQUEST FOR IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE USE OF NON-MOVABLE FISHING DEVICES

OPEN LETTER

Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy

7th September 2020

The EMS Foundation hereby submits a formal request for an immediate moratorium on the use of non-movable fishing devices, which include, but are not limited to, crayfish traps.

We are extremely concerned by the documented accounts of whale fatalities in South African water which are a result of these devices.

In 2020, there have been four reported incidents of whale fatalities in the Western Cape alone. Moreover, of concern is that it is known that the majority of entanglements, which result in fatalities, are unreported.

PLEASE READ OUR FULL LETTER:

Image Credit: Overstrand Municipality

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

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EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

Contact Us


info@emsfoundation.org.za

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