Some interesting facts about the hunting industry in South Africa: 2012 Statistics by Dr Herman Els * 10 years ago, there were less than 5 000 game farms in South Africa * Today (2012) there are 12 000 game farms in South Africa * 10 000 of them have exemptions for hunting * 20 million hectares of land is in private ownership representing about 70% of land use for wildlife conservation, the other 30% is government owned national and provincial game reserves * Government owned game reserves cannot conserve all the wildlife in South Africa effectively and rely heavily on game and hunting farmers to assist them * The hunting industry has generated R 7.7 Billion in 2011 - .25% of SA's national GDP * R 3.1 Billion per year was generated from around 250 000 biltong hunters in South Africa * R 2.1 Billion per year was generated from around 15 000 trophy hunters from abroad * The balance was generated from add-on services, food and accommodations * Trophy hunting has a lesser impact on wildlife than biltong hunting * Hunting is by far the largest revenue generator for game farmers * The sale of animals represents only around 5% of the revenue generated by game farmers * There are over 500 luxury lodges with staff on private game reserves in South Africa * 60% of all wildlife in South Africa are owned privately outside of national and provincial parks * Game & hunting farmers are the largest contributors towards the conservation of wildlife * Game farms creates three times more employment than on a normal livestock farm * Over recent years more than 70 000 jobs were created on newly established game farms * By 2020 the industry will have created an additional 220 000 new jobs The industry has seen species like Rhino, Sable and Roan, breeded by game farmers, returned to its habitat in healthy numbers. Hunting played a role in providing game farmers with the needed income to sustain the breeding of these animals. Hunting provides the needed funding to assist with effective wildlife conservation as in many cases is an extremely costly exercise. Hunting also provides employment to the many unemployed in Africa and is a main source to look at for future food security as arable land use for agriculture is under pressure due to population growth. Game meat is a serious food source to consider for our future generations. We observe the fact that there are difference in opinion between hunters and non-hunters alike and respect the views of the non-hunter. We do however urge the non-hunter to be objective and try to understand the positive impact hunting has on our society at large by assessing issues such as the economic impact for the conservation of our wildlife, the re-introduction of previously dwindling species, employment and food security. All of these are important points to consider when the hunting industry is being scrutinized. Hunting Legends fully supports the many initiatives to conserve wildlife and nature.