Update On Social Media Restrictions Announced My Minister Shifeta

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by NAPHA, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. NAPHA

    NAPHA New Member

    Sep 22, 2009
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    Member of:

    Dear members, stakeholders and affiliates of NAPHA,

    We are happy to announce that we have returned from a very constructive and positive meeting with the Minister and his office. Other stakeholders that attended were NACSO, NNF and WRN.

    A summary of all the concerns and questions communicated to us by our members was presented to the Minister; as well as NAPHA’s proposal as to a way forward.

    Herewith we can confirm that the implementation of the condition on the restriction of the posting of images of trophy animals on social media made by the Minister is for now on hold, until such time that the industry has reverted back with proposed guidelines for ethical marketing practices for the hunting community.

    NAPHA has taken the lead in this initiative and has shared the below letter with the Minister with proposals which the Minister welcomed and acknowledged in good spirit. All stakeholders have agreed to work together and expand on these suggestions. We have also provided the Minister with a draft pamphlet with guidelines for social media advertising and posts. We suggested that this pamphlet be distributed at the airport, Air Namibia, NTB, MET and NAPHA offices, and would also accompany all hunting permits issued.

    A meeting was proposed and will be sponsored by WRN at Heja Lodge on 27 July 2018, where everyone who wants to contribute constructive and pro-active input is welcome. It was agreed that NAPHA will take the lead in this and will advise the public about the final outcome.

    We hope that everyone involved in hunting will act as ambassadors for our lovely country and abide by the final consensus decision.

    Letter to the Honourable Minister Shifeta

    Dear Honourable Minister Shifeta,

    RE: Social Media Advertising & Proposed Guidelines

    Thank you very much for allowing us to address this issue with you.

    From the outset, we want to assure you that NAPHA and its members appreciate your endeavour to uphold and safeguard hunting in Namibia as part of the sustainable use of renewable natural resources. We want to stress that we will always support the ministry in its decisions to uphold the hunting collective.

    Although we appreciate the immense pressure that you and your office experience daily, with unfounded attacks by so many uninformed voices against legal and responsible hunting, as well as the increasing human wildlife conflict issues, we have to bring a number of concerns to your attention to be discussed tomorrow.

    Proposed way forward for your kind attention and approval:

    It is a fact that irresponsible and insensitive marketing is destructive to the hunting community and therefor our wildlife and habitat. As duly noted by various members through their correspondence the last couple of days, ethics and morals are crucial to our hunting community, but the opinions and level of this varies greatly from person to person.

    NAPHA’s Code of Conduct reads as follows: To promote hunting as a recognised and sustainable form of the utilisation of renewable natural resources.

    We will never succumb to pressure from anyone to stop advertising our services, wildlife and country by way of legal hunting. But we should reprimand anyone for doing so in a way that destructs it. (irresponsible and insensitive marketing). The point is not whether a certain photo is moral or ethical, because again this can be argued. What is important to note is that we are exposing ourselves, hunting, and our country to a world of people. Some of them are at the outset against it, some have no opinion to it, and some welcome it. We have to be aware of all of these sectors, take responsibility for how we expose ourselves, and be absolutely and without a doubt convinced that by doing so, we are securing our industry for current and future generations.

    NAPHA’s Code of Conduct clearly states our intent to secure the industry for current and future generations, as well as to ensure sound and ethical social, business, hunting and environmental practices at all times. With the age of social media, no clear guidelines regarding this type of marketing has been provided by either the ministry or NAPHA as of yet, and therefor we have to respect each persons view on what responsible marketing is.

    NAPHA would herewith like to propose three suggestions to the Minister to be implemented instead of a total ban of trophy pictures on Social Media:

    1. A clearly defined guideline structure for responsible social media marketing. This will ensure a risk-free freedom of advertising by hunting clients as well as hunting operators. It will also ensure that the Ministry has clear rules and guidelines with which it will be able to prosecute and or penalise any Namibian Outfitter for transgressions against these guidelines. A foreword by the Minister is imperative. Furthermore NAPHA will endeavour to be sponsored to have these guidelines printed and distributed at the International Airport, the MET offices (for possible distribution together with all permits issued), the NAPHA offices, and also on a distribution platform through social media and other International affiliated partners of NAPHA, for at least one year.

    2. A generic well-worded, professional write-up that can serve as a response on any criticism on hunting on social media platforms to be used by any hunter, outfitter, the MET or NAPHA which will at the same time provide us all with an opportunity to enlighten such critics on our role as conservationists through hunting, the benefits of hunting, the role the MET plays, and our commitment to the Namibian Constitution. Species specific write-ups would be very effective in achieving this as well.

    3. Because of the ever changing and evolving portals through the internet, it is imperative that all Professional Hunters, Master Hunting Guides and Hunting Guides stay up to date with these developments. Through the MET’s proposed annual ethics course, a point system where certain credits are provided to individuals attending these courses should be implemented. This point system could serve as a penalising system as well, where points could be deducted by the MET by any transgressions by PH’s, MHG’s and HG’s. If a certain amount of points is not obtained or held, such PH, MHG or HG cannot register for the year. Such systems already apply for many Professionals in Namibia. Training courses required to attend by PH’s, MHG’s and HG’s in ethics, social media, shot placement, trophy handling, etc., would ensure the development and renewal within our collective of the Namibian Professional Hunters, in order for them to be a cut above the rest.

    I hope that this communication will find your office with a favourable solution and with a clear objective from NAPHA. We would like to again stress the importance of a good working relation between NAPHA and your office. NAPHA is at your disposal with help and advice, but cannot do so if proper communication and involvement is not shared in sufficient time.

    We also want to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of a statutory body (which NAPHA is very willing to be involved in) where all PH’s, MHG’s and HG’s should be registered and controlled through. NAPHA works diligently to enhance and maintain, by effective management, an organisational infrastructure that can serve professional hunting members, clients and other interest groups. Unfortunately so many who are not members of NAPHA gain through all of this, but at the same time criticise and defame NAPHA blatantly in public and on various public platforms. We would appreciate your support in this as well.

    Our Association has reached great achievements and international respect through our unity and principles, but also by the example that we as fellow Namibians and proud NAPHA members have always set for the world as well as the rest of our fellow Namibians to be proud of.

    Yours truly,
    Danene van der Westhuyzen
    gesch, Vanguard2279 and Fred Gunner like this.

  2. CAustin


    May 7, 2013
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    Member of:
    Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
    South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    Well put!

  3. postoak

    postoak BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Dec 2, 2012
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    Member of:
    Life member NRA
    U.S.A., R.S.A, Namibia
    NAPHA is very concerned about being able to show dead animals on their websites, as they should be, but we need more concern about hunters being able to post photos on the "social media" sites. It is very worrying that U.S. hunters are exposed to federal prosecution for something that doesn't involve anything they did while actually hunting and which involves controlling their behavior for the rest of their lives if they hunt in Namibia (and now perhaps Zimbabwe).
    Rock375 likes this.



    Aug 5, 2010
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    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
    If you would like "everyone involved in hunting to abide by the final consensus decision.", perhaps a meeting in the OFF SEASON might allow for a significant proportion of those effected to attend and share their opinions.
    I sincerely doubt IN THE MIDDLE OF HUNTING SEASON any of the professionals that are actually WORKING will be able to attend and participate.
    Wide agreement will only be had after everyone gets their say, not after an imposition of a minority decision.
    I wish you well in your meeting.

    Interesting that NAPHA, as an"after thought", would like to take control of the industry and apparently become the designated statutory body.
    Is that not MET's job already?

    Politics at its best.

  5. leslie hetrick

    leslie hetrick AH Enthusiast

    Jan 27, 2018
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    pa. u,s.A.
    Member of:
    several sporting clubs
    one group who will not be posting pictures of their hunts and kills are the pouchers, so you don,t have to worry about them.

  6. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

    Jun 16, 2013
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    Member of:
    NRA endowment member/Life member
    Excellent response by NAPHA. I hope Minister Shitefa listens carefully. I believe we all need to be aware of our image and message as hunters using social media. But a legal restriction on photos? I have just re-read The Lacey Act (original 1900 law and 2008 amendment plus Federal Register cases) and although I am not a lawyer, I see some potential problems. Procurement and transportation of a trophy is considered part of the hunt. An illegal photo in Namibia, even months later, makes for an illegal harvest and a Lacey violation. It can lead to trophy confiscation and firearms forfeiture. Agents may not be able to differentiate an African trophy from a mule deer, so all can be taken for evidence. This is potentially a perfect anti-hunting weapon for US hunters traveling to Namibia. Or, in fact, ever having been to Namibian hunting location...........................my best........FWB

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