Namibia Considering Closing Leopard & Cheetah Through 2010

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Namibia Considering Closing Leopard & Cheetah Through 2010

Namibian Trophy Hunting Industry Decides on Drastic Measures to Ensure Fair Chase, Ethical Hunting


Here below is a statement, which was forwarded to the Honourable Minister of MET (Ministry of Environment & Tourism) by NAPHA (Namibian Professional Hunting Association) for their urgent attention.


The Executive Committee of the Namibian Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) called an urgent Special General Meeting of members on the 31st July in order to discuss the challenges currently facing Leopard and Cheetah hunting in Namibia.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism issued a moratorium for Cheetah Trophy Hunting Permits and Leopard Trophy Hunting Permits for 2009, on the 24th April and 15th June ‘09 respectively. Reasoning for the moratoria on issuing trophy permits for these two species was that the CITES export quota had been exhausted. This Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s decision was supported by the Association and the members, although a few Hunting Professionals were forced to inform hunting clients of the development at short notice.

As increasing reports of alleged unscrupulous, unethical and illegal hunting practices, often involving unregistered and unqualified persons (often foreigners) posing as hunting professionals had reached NAPHA, the Executive Committee was of the opinion that urgent action was required in order to secure the future of the Namibian trophy hunting industry as well as the reputation of Namibia as a destination for fair chase and ethical trophy hunting.

Lively discussion and debates on the status quo and the future of Leopard and Cheetah hunting, as well as the hunting of Leopard with hounds, took place at the meeting which lasted for 6 hours. The following motions, which will determine the immediate as well as long-term future of trophy hunting in Namibia, were passed by an overwhelming majority:

The NAPHA Executive Committee is instructed to request the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism to:

1. Temporarily suspend Leopard hunting with hounds with immediate effect;

2. Not to issue Leopard Trophy Hunting Permits for 2010 in order to use the year to put effective Leopard trophy hunting control mechanisms in place;

3. Not to issue Cheetah Trophy Hunting Permits for 2010 in order to use the year to put effective Cheetah trophy hunting control mechanism in place.


A Predator Hunting Committee was elected to work on the drawing-up and implementation of effective hunting control mechanisms. Committee members are: Karl Stumpfe, Danie van Ellewee, Zane Cooper, Andre’ Swanepoel and Johan Kotze. Members of the NAPHA Executive will also serve on the committee.

The Namibian Professional Hunting Association advises all trophy hunters arriving in Namibia that it is essential to make sure that their Outfitter, Hunting Guide or PH is in possession of an original Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism Trophy Hunting Permit which specifies the following:

1. Name of client;

2. Name of Hunting Guide or PH who will personally guide the client throughout the hunt;

3. Valid date;

4. Huntable species.


It is important to be in possession of this document before commencing the hunt, as failure to do so may result in criminal prosecution and the confiscation of hunting trophies by the authorities.

Almut Kronsbein
CEO of NAPHA



'Our intent is to ensure and promote ethical conduct, sustainable utilization of natural resources, and to secure the industry for current and future generations.' Excerpt from the NAPHA mission Statement.
 

Red Leg

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Sigh. Glad I managed to get my cat last summer. I grew up in the southern US and grew up with an appreciation for hunting deer with dogs. That said, I am also the first to admit that our herds are in much better shape and the animals are under far less stress where we no longer run them. Without wanting to get into a debate over the good and bad of hound hunting, I, nevertheless, suspect the same is true of leopards.

The really unfortunate thing is that the "moratorium" may do more harm than good in ranch country, where the cats will continue to pick off calves. With no opportunity to bring in a trophy hunter, the cans of poison will be dusted off to deal with problem cats.
 

TOM

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Wow. That is going to change some things. Probably for the better.
 

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Once I heard that leopard were being hunted with dogs I wondered how long it would be before we saw some 'issues' arise. Good houndsmen greatly increase the chances of success on cats. I am not going to get into the perceived moral or ethical debates that have been going on with regards to the hunting of leopards with dogs...........this is just about success rates.

There are jurisdictions in North America where the mountain lion season can be shut down overnight once a specific target number/allowable harvest has been reached. Some years it can happen very quickly after the start of the season.

With leopard, the classic hunting methods have always been baiting and tracking. Both methods produce cats but it is far from a sure thing and many hunters do not kill a leopard on their first cat hunt. With established quotas and the use of these methods I would imagine that most operating seasons allowed cat hunters to come and go from Namibia without running out of CITES quota................I am sure some of the PH's on here could comment on that as I do not profess to know the actual statistics.

When the use of dogs began however, I suspected that as the houndsmen gained experience the success rate would climb and high success rates would increase the demand for the use of dogs on leopard hunts by hunters. This could lead to the actual CITES quotas for export of trophy leopards being reached fairly quickly during the operating season in any given year.

I could be way off base on this and look forward to the comments from those who live there and are 'in the know'.
 

pinotguy

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The really unfortunate thing is that the "moratorium" may do more harm than good in ranch country, where the cats will continue to pick off calves. With no opportunity to bring in a trophy hunter, the cans of poison will be dusted off to deal with problem cats.

From what I can gather, the moratorium does not apply to PAC cats. (I could certainly be mistaken on this.) Farmers can still have a Leopard declared as "PAC" and a hunter may then try to hunt it. As you cannot export or import a PAC animal, the CITES requirements do not come into play. On private land in Namibia, I believe you can hunt PAC Leopard at night with the aid of artificial light.
 

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