SCI Releases Standards for Hunting Behind High Fences
SCI has released its “North American Standards for Hunting behind a Fence”. The SCI Board of Directors voted to adopt these standards at the Washington, D.C. board meeting in May 2006. The SCI policy consists of three documents which are reproduced below: (Editor’s Note: African Indaba hopes that the SCI Board of Directors will extend these very welcome and essential regulations to cover all hunting operations behind high fences, irrespective to where they are located in the world. These regulations, if adopted by SCI for Africa, Europe and Asia will address what many concerned hunters are fighting for many years: It will be the end of canned and put & take shooting operations, artificially created “trophies”, etc. and it should be the end to advertising these operations in hunting magazines. We are looking forward to SCI enforcing these regulations in America and that ads for such operations disappear from the SCI publications. We also remind readers that SCI previously passed a global High Fence Policy at the January 2004 board meeting)
The North American Hunting Preserves - Fair Chase Standards (AI Editor’s emphasis in the text)
Recreational hunting and the concept of “fair chase” has been linked for as long as recreational hunting has existed. However, the terms and conditions of what constitutes “fair chase” when hunting is conducted within a high fenced area has never been fully or clearly defined SCI believes that the following conditions must be met, or exceeded, in order for the concept of “fair chase” to apply for hunting mammals within high fenced areas in North America: (Editor’s Note: The former SCI African Chapter and the then existing African Advisory Board developed a definition which was ratified and signed on November 22, 1997. Co- Signatories from SCI were Lance Norris, Skip Donau and Rudy Rosen. The document was submitted to the SCI EC by Norris/Donau, then president/deputy president of SCI.)
• The animals hunted must have freely resided on the property on which they are being hunted for at least six months, or longer.
• The hunting property shall provide escape cover that allows the animals to elude hunters for extended periods of time and multiple occurrences. Escape cover, in the form of rugged terrain or topography, and/or dense thickets or stands of woods, shall collectively comprise at least 50% of the property.
• The animals hunted must be part of a breeding herd that is a resident on the hunted property.
• The operators of the preserve must provide freely available and ample amounts of cover, food and water at all times. (Editor’s note: this needs some finer definition, like in “times of need” and not as “feeder ringing in the evening meal”)
• Animals that are to be hunted must exhibit their natural flight/survival instincts.
• No zoo animals, exhibited animals or tame animals are to be hunted.
• No hunting or selling of hunting rights to a specified animal.
• Hunting methods employed cannot include driving, herding or chasing animals to awaiting hunters.
• Every effort must be made to utilize all meat commonly consumed from a taken animal.
The minimum amount of land necessary to meet these requirements varies by region, terrain and habitat type. Setting a standard minimum area is unlikely to be realistic. However, SCI recommends that state/provincial wildlife management agencies work with the operators and the hunting community within their area to establish specific regulations to guide the operation of hunting preserves.
The North American Fenced Hunting Operations - Operating Standards (AI Editor’s emphasis in the text)
While this regulatory authority may be shared with the state/provincial department of agriculture, SCI believes that it is imperative that the wildlife management agencies be involved in the oversight and regulation of this industry.
In addition, operators of these facilities must meet or exceed the state and/or federal requirements for disease-testing, record keeping of all animals, and fencing requirements.
Advertisements that indicate a facility guarantees a kill; or specifically sells or references an individual animal are indicative of operations that do not adhere to the “fair chase” guidelines. SCI recommends that organizations and publications develop specific acceptable advertising guidelines for appropriate ads from fenced hunting operations.
Recommendations from the North American High Fenced ADHOC Committee (AI Editor’s emphasis in the text)
• A survey will be done outside of SCI on the image of high fenced hunting.
• Fenced operations should be regulated by the State Department of Natural Resources or regulated by both the State Department of Natural Resources and the State Department of Agriculture in joint venture.
• SCI can delegate the authority to a specific individual or group to negotiate the best deal possible when pending legislation is being proposed at the state level.
• Ads in SCI publications need to follow the guidelines that have been set forth on North American high fenced hunting (i.e.- no ads shall be accepted that say no kill-no pay; guaranteeing a kill or selling of an individual animal
). The seller of the ad should lose their commission for that ad and this shall apply to marketing in any SCI show or publication.
• All edible meat commonly consumed shall be used in a responsible manner.
• SCI recommends operators of these facilities reach out to handicapped, disadvantaged, youth and terminally ill hunters.
• SCI recommends that the operators of exotic animal hunting facilities, to the extent possible, link their operations to the conservation of wildlife in its natural habitat.
Source: Safari Club international