HSI Africa vs DFFE

Published On: 20 Apr 2022By Categories: Latest News

Trophy hunting quotas under attack

The Humane Society International – Africa have brought an urgent court application against the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) to have the allocated hunting quota for 2022 revoked.

The issue on which the HSI/Africa is basing their claim is whether the Minister had objectively followed all the prescribed administrative processes in announcing the deferred quotas of 2021 for 2022. The Humane Society is alleging that the minister did not follow all the prescribed processes in the 2021 quota allocation process since as there was, according to them, no public consultation as prescribed by the law, which makes the quotas allocation unlawful and irregular and should therefore not be allowed to be deferred to 2022.

Minister Barbara Creecy, however, filed a robust defence against the claim. The court heard the matter for 3 days, whereafter late on Friday, 25 March 2022, judge Patrick Gamble issued a temporary interdict halting the allocation of trophy hunt quotas and postponed the court to 08 April 2022 to allow the HSI/Africa to study the Minister’s documentation.

It is expected that HSI/Africa will return to court on this date to attempt to convert the temporary interdict into a permanent order.

If the Minister did meet all the objective administrative requirements to make the quota announcement, WRSA and the industry may be able to join the Minister and DFFE to defend the policy determinations in the HSI/AFRICA application on a substantive basis. This joinder with the Minister in the defence against this application will only be undertaken based on sound legal advice to ensure the best interests of WRSA and our members are protected.

Should this application, for whatever reason, be successful, WRSA will regroup and consult with all affected parties – and in consultation with sound legal advice – strategize a responding action to support our legal rights to the sustainable use of our natural resources as allowed in the Constitution of South Africa. WRSA intends to hold the DFFE and the HSI/AFRICA to task to protect lawful hunting, our industry, and our wildlife.

In defence of this application, WRSA stands firmly on the scientific foundation that a species cannot be managed on a ‘per species’ level, but only on a population level. We maintain that in the case of a listed endangered species, it is entirely realistic that whereas the species may be endangered when seen on a macro scale across all of Africa’s unprotected areas, due to the existence of sufficient and well-managed private protected areas where there are healthy populations of any such species with sufficient numbers of the species, the species in question is not in danger of extinction irrespective of how numbers in unprotected areas have decreased.

WRSA also maintains that where people have heavily invested and taken the trouble to protect and breed any species, there is no valid reason to interfere with the harvesting of them, especially if that’s done sustainably.

South Africa’s share of the wild-life economy is US$9,6 billion and the industry also employs nearly half a million people, which is comparable to mining. Income generated by trophy hunting is especially critical for marginalised and impoverished rural communities. All of this is now in direct jeopardy because of this court action.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the court action towards the final judgement and will take any legally sound action to further and protect the rights and best interests of our members and South African citizens.

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