UNETHICAL TROPHY HUNTING OF ELEPHANT IN THE GREATER KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Open Letter

Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, PPCEFF Members, Fundisile Mketeni CEO SanParks, SH Makhubele LEDET, Jared Goodman PETA and Senator Henry Stern

Thursday 6th August 2020

The EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading (BAT), are registered Non-profit Organisations concerned, among other things, with the protection of wild animals. The EMS Foundation is a South African based social justice NGO with the purpose of achieving lasting solutions, alleviating and ending suffering, raising public awareness and providing dignity through supporting and sustaining humane solutions, interventions and research for the protection of children, the Aged and wild animals. BAT aim is to end animal exploitation through facilitating positive and meaningful change, recognising that change is incremental, and created through awareness and education and legislative enactment.

On Monday 3rd August 2020, the Daily Mail newspaper with a readership of over 2.3 million people in the United Kingdom published an article with images and a video which were supplied by the organisation called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The article is about a Californian trophy hunter called Aaron Raby who, on 5th December 2019, killed an elephant in the Balule Nature Reserve in the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) which adjoins the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Wild animals that are protected in the KNP, but then move across imaginary borders and are part of the National Estate and South Africa’s national heritage, are being hunted for profit by private entities.

Currently there is a strong public perception―locally and internationally―that hunting is not being properly regulated within the Greater Kruger National Park area, particularly in the APNR.

Trophy hunting reinforces deep apartheid era social and racial inequalities in Africa. The foundational values of the Constitution include dignity, equality and freedom. There is a growing body of research and resources that incorporate these values and the achievement thereof, together with an ethos of respect for nonhuman animals.

We note that recent research shows, for instance, the highly racialised and discriminatory practices in the hunting industry as well as the exploitation of poor black workers who often have to deal with wild animals with very little safety and minimal pay.

Currently, around the world, thousands of people are calling for an end to racial injustice, inequity and oppression. The current government approach has really been a continuation of the colonial attitude to the environment as well as the ethos inculcated by the apartheid government. The wildlife sector in South Africa is an example of anti-constitutional values, with blatant inequality in the ownership and management of wild animals, wildlife operations and land on which these animals live and are utilised. It is clear that there is an interlinkage between the oppression of nonhuman animals and human animals and this is a subject which is increasingly being developed and has come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer is not to widen the oppression of non-human animals but to end it and change the relationship between humans and non-humans.

READ THE FULL LETTER

Image Credit: PETA

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