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  1. #1
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    Another reply to the M Bachmann lion hunting saga

    It has come under the attention of the South African Predator Association that Melissa Bachman’s posting of her hunting trophy photographs on Face Book and Twitter has drawn a huge negative response from far and wide. In South Africa a photograph showing a smiling Bachman behind her trophy lion has elicited severe criticism, as if this lion is the last nail in the coffin of the African lion as a species.

    This outcry, how well meant it might be, is utter nonsense. It comes either from people that are totally misinformed or from people with a mindset created by Walt Disney.

    Responsible and sustainable hunting of game species is an internationally accepted norm and it is practised all over the world. Elephant, lion and buffalo and all other game species are hunted in South Africa in a responsible and sustainable manner. The hunting industry constitutes a very important sector of the South African economy: it earns revenue for the country, it creates employment, it provides food and it contributes to conservation. It has engineered the survival of several game species that were on the brink of extinction.

    South Africa has several healthy and thriving free roaming lion populations, mainly in national, provincial and private game reserves. They are well cared for and they are under no threat, except disease (bovine TB in Kruger National Park). Their numbers are estimated at around 3 000 and they may not to be hunted.

    Additional to the free roaming lion populations, South Africa has between 4 000 and 5 000 ranch lions (captive bred lions). The keeping and hunting of ranch lions are strictly regulated by national and provincial legislation. The provincial lion hunting regulations as well as the SA Predator Association’s norms and standards explicitly prohibit hunting practices associated with “canned hunting”. No lion hunt undertaken under the auspices of provincial regulations or under the auspices of the SA Predator Association’s Norms and Standards can be construed as a “canned hunt”. “Canned” lion hunting is illegal in South Africa and is totally rejected by the industry.

    Me Bachman’s lion hunt was conducted on the Maroi private game ranch in Limpopo Province under that province’s legal requirements and therefore completely legal. She testified to the fact that it was a classic walk-and-stalk hunt, which is the basis of the fair chase mode of hunting.

    The ranch lion industry in South Africa was developed on the legal basis provided by the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1989 and the National Environmental Management (Biodiversity) Act 10, 2004 and rests upon the principle of the sustainable use of wildlife species, acknowledged by the IUCN. While the ranch lion industry is primarily, like the ostrich industry, a commercial farming operation, it offers substantial conservation value. The 4 000 – 5 000 ranch lions represent a significant lion population in the broader context of dwindling numbers of the free roaming populations – estimated at between 16 500 and 30 000 in the whole of Africa. Every ranch lion hunted in South Africa “saves” at least one lion in the wild. Contrary to popular belief, captive bred lions can be successfully introduced into wild environments, thus rendering the real possibility of repopulating lion habitats and reserves in Africa where they became extinct.

    The kind of remarks made by some people on Me Bachman’s hunting activities is not only outrageous and dangerous, but it is exactly the kind of ignorance and misinformation that we as the South African Predator Association so passionately vow to combat and eliminate in order to protect the African conservation community at large from another embarrassment such as which the Rhino as a species is still facing today.

    Pieter JJS Potgieter

    President: SA Predator Association

    2013-11-18

    Enquiries: Prof. Pieter Potgieter on 082 451 0762

  2. #2
    ebf
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    Doug, so these would be the same guys who took a case to court to fight for the right to hunt animals immediately after relocation ?

    They specifically represent the interests of game farms offering lions to international trophy hunters and "breeders" supplying animals to those farms ?

    How long before she shot that lion was it released at Maroi ?
    Viva la Howa ! R.I.P. Toby
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  3. #3
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    20 November 2013

    OPEN LETTER FROM CHASA’S CHAIRMAN – MELISSA BACHMAN

    Dear Hunters

    Although I have received overwhelmingly strong support from hunters for the press release I penned for CHASA regarding the outcry over the Lion Hunt of Melissa Bachman, there have been a very small number of hunters who have challenged my (and CHASA’s) pro lion hunting stance. These comments vary from some who believe hunting ANY inedible specie is wrong, to others who bemoan the practice of canned shooting or the hunting of captive bred animals, and those who object to her apparent glee which she has placed very publicly on social media. All these commentators have pointed out their own personal ethos which I appreciate tends to be the more purist, hard hunting & moderate off take style of hunting.

    CHASA as an umbrella organisation has many differing styles and types of hunter within its ranks. Apart from the typical “biltong” hunter as most SA hunters are referred to, we have groups hunting with the use of birds of prey, hunting over hounds, wing shooters, those who focus on making a recreational activity out of damage causing animal control, handgun hunters and more. The fact is that specific styles of hunting and the character of the people who hunt are as diverse as humankind can possibly be. There are those who would never shoot from a vehicle and those who shoot in no other manner.

    Our function is to ensure the Freedom to Hunt. There are THREE FUNDAMENTALS which we apply when we decide which hunting activity to protect. It must be LEGAL, SUSTAINABLE and HUMANE hunting. Legal is probably the simplest of these three to define and our biggest challenge here is to engage with government to ensure laws are reasonable, logical, aim to achieve the other fundamentals, and are easy for hunters to comply with.

    Sustainable is often misunderstood. Sustainable does NOT of itself imply there MUST be a direct benefit to conservation as such, but rather that it must NOT work AGAINST conservation. I see a lot of comment that we hunt to conserve. We don’t. We hunt because it’s in us to do so, as a deep seated human imperative (supressed in many urbanised folk) but real enough for those of us who feel it. The conservation is simply a natural consequence of hunting, particularly as we have over time developed magnificent conservation models based on our desire to preserve hunting (The history of game law development worldwide bears this out) A true hunter would feel in his gut if his hunting were taking more than nature could bear.

    Humane is often misconstrued especially when we hear the blurb of animal rightists and some misinformed members of the public debating speciesism. In simple terms from a hunter’s perspective, we need to do everything within our means to ensure the quickest, surest and least stressful death of the animal being hunted. In this regard we need to be careful of pointing fingers at those who don’t adhere to our own specific personal preferred hunting ethos. An animal shot in the head or heart from a vehicle does NOT die a less humane death than one shot from the hunter on foot. A lion or elephant properly shot with the appropriate calibre & bullet does NOT die a less humane death than a jackal or a springbuck does. Any hunter who panders to these myths may believe that animal rightists will accept his more “ethically elevated” approach to hunting and be satisfied to let him carry on hunting because of it. This is not true!

    Animal rightists are a fringe element culture, but carry enough passion and extremism to influence huge chunks of public opinion. Their STATED ambition is the eventual demise of ALL forms of human use, domination or ownership over animals, period! They are fully aware that their more radical objectives would be a hard-sell to folk, so they have devised a simple strategy, based on the domino effect. Knock over the easiest targets first and keep moving along the line as you progress. You may well believe your own hunting ethic should be the minimum acceptable standard now, and even support legislation making it so. But that would make YOUR style the next one in the targets of these extremists. In this debacle I have even had an engagement with a group of big game fisherman who were attacking the lion hunt, but when I pointed out that they apply a similar “use model” as hunters when they fish, they put up an incredibly feeble argument to try and differentiate the activities. How silly, and how dangerous for the fishing community? ALL users of nature’s bounty need to support one another regardless of your own particular personal ethos, provided the three fundamentals are adhered to. The argument that only food is a legitimate use, and the only reason to hunt is particularly concerning. If we succeed with this argument then it’s a simple next step for animal rightists to say alternative food sources are available. We DON’T hunt anymore to stay off starvation. There is a lot of cultural, health, spiritual and educational reasons to hunt, and yes we must admit there’s an element of ego involved. It’s part of the human psyche.

    In short, we need to do what hunters do best; be honest and upfront. What we must not do is start an internal feeding frenzy pointing fingers at each other, and supplying our adversaries with ammunition against us. We know what we do is just and right, and for now I can assure you so does the relevant parties in government. That’s what we achieve in our constant positive engagements with them. We need to be more mindful of how the public needs to be positively influenced to understand hunting, without us being defensive about it. If we are to hunt into future generations we cannot hide hunting away from public scrutiny so instead we have to socialise the public to hunting by our constant positive engagements, without the abusive language which is so often used by the anti-hunters.

    Kind Regards

    Stephen Palos - Chairman
    CHASA

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebf View Post
    Doug, so these would be the same guys who took a case to court to fight for the right to hunt animals immediately after relocation ?

    They specifically represent the interests of game farms offering lions to international trophy hunters and "breeders" supplying animals to those farms ?

    How long before she shot that lion was it released at Maroi ?
    Additional to the free roaming lion populations, South Africa has between 4 000 and 5 000 ranch lions (captive bred lions). The keeping and hunting of ranch lions are strictly regulated by national and provincial legislation. The provincial lion hunting regulations as well as the SA Predator Association’s norms and standards explicitly prohibit hunting practices associated with “canned hunting”. No lion hunt undertaken under the auspices of provincial regulations or under the auspices of the SA Predator Association’s Norms and Standards can be construed as a “canned hunt”. “Canned” lion hunting is illegal in South Africa and is totally rejected by the industry.

    Me Bachman’s lion hunt was conducted on the Maroi private game ranch in Limpopo Province under that province’s legal requirements and therefore completely legal. She testified to the fact that it was a classic walk-and-stalk hunt, which is the basis of the fair chase mode of hunting.

    EBF, the laws have changed and as I understand, no one may kill a newly released lion. I think that the matter should also be considered with the arguments put forward by Stephen Palos.

  5. #5
    ebf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    EBF, the laws have changed and as I understand, no one may kill a newly released lion. I think that the matter should also be considered with the arguments put forward by Stephen Palos.
    Doug, as far as I am aware the last case was the Appeal Court one on Nov 29, 2010, Case 72/10.

    SA Predator Breeders Association and Others v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (72/10) [2010] ZASCA 151; [2011] 2 All SA 529 (SCA) (29 November 2010)

    This was the one where after the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism put in place regulations preventing hunting of newly released lions for a period of 24 months, the organisation which you are posting press releases then took it to the appeal court.

    The decision was reported in the SA press as a step back and a return to "canned hunting".

    Expecting the same people who were involved in the practise of "canned hunting" to suddenly change their spots, regulate themselves and miraculously become ethical overnight is asking a bit much. Correct me if I am wrong, but we dont suddenly have a whole new set of breeders or game farm owners, it's the same guys, they just have a more effective public relations organisation...

    The simple question, which remains unanswered, and would easily clear up this thing - how long before the lion was shot was it released ? Lions are not kept at Maroi, that lion was specifically brought there for Bachman to shoot. How long was the trip ? Was it sedated ?

    Groetnis van die onderkant van die wereld
    Viva la Howa ! R.I.P. Toby
    Black rifles matter...

 

 

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