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Tourists are in favour of wild animal protection over trophy hunting in South Africa


The news comes at the same time the country declared open consultations on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity paper draft.

The World Animal Protection survey on trophy hunting, featuring 10,900 global respondents - both visitors and local inhabitants, revealed that people strongly oppose trophy hunting and favour protecting wildlife reserve by promoting responsible wildlife tourism.

84% of international visitors would vote for wildlife-friendly tourism as a priority and reject unethical trophy hunting. 74% of participants believe that this practice will surely damage South Africa’s reputation, while 70% of South African citizens want trophy hunting officially banned by the government, and 74% of South African inhabitants lobby for wildlife-friendly tourism alternatives.

Nick Stewart, Global Head of Campaigns for Wildlife at World Animal Protection, commented on the initiative:

“The white paper seeks to create a prosperous nation, living in harmony with nature where biodiversity is conserved for present and future generations, this is a great start. But it falls short on clarity or tangible commitments to end the global commercial wildlife trade, which includes captive lion breeding, the use of big cats for traditional medicine and trophy hunting. [...]

“The Republic of South Africa needs to take decisive action to move towards a more wildlife friendly future. It’s not too late for them to grasp the opportunity to make a clear stand, by fully embracing non-lethal wildlife-friendly alternatives, including responsible wildlife tourism, which is clearly what international tourists and local people are seeking. It’s time to make public, time bound commitments, starting with killing off trophy hunting – for good.”

Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaign Manager (Africa) at World Animal Protection, added:

“The life of a wild animal is worth so much more than the trophy it is too often reduced to. This is the shared view of tourists, who want to visit the country to see wildlife alive and thriving, and of South Africans who want to see the incredible wildlife on their doorstep, protected properly, in a humane and ethical manner.

“The government needs to listen to South African voices who clearly don’t want their wildlife heritage plundered any further and want to see change. Continuing to make wild animals shoot-to-kill targets at the mercy of wealthy westerners is outdated in a world where public attitudes are swiftly shifting.

“Without taking a firm stand, South Africa is starving the oxygen from creative thinking to identify, incentivize, and implement non-lethal alternatives to conserve Africa’s iconic wildlife. Wildlife has the right to a wild life free from cruel commercial exploitation; we need to respect and protect them.”

According to World Animal Protection, little to no progress has been made on the subject since the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of South Africa’s decision to end domestication of captive lions back in May 2021. Moreover, the organisation believes that focusing on wildlife-friendly responsible tourism would benefit the country’s reputation and will reposition it as a competitive destination.

World Animal Protection urges the Republic of South Africa to ban cruel animal-related practices, encourage sustainable development as well as conservation efforts, put a permanent stop to trophy hunting, and significantly boost wildlife-friendly tourism alternatives.


Source: worldanimalnews.com


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