New legislation for SA wildlife ranching called for

Wildlife Ranching SA (WRSA) past president and Vaalwater game farmer, Gert Dry, strongly advocated changes in the SA’s current National Environmental Management: Biodiversity (NEMBA) legislation at the 2014 Grassland Society of Southern Africa congress in Bloemfontein.

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“The current legislation does not make sense”, he said. “Wildlife ranching in South Africa is based on business principles and should not fall under the same legislation as the Kruger National Park or any conservation area in the country.

“Sustainable use cannot be understood only from a biological or ecological perspective such as the harvest of a specific species over time and in isolation. The broader social, economic, cultural and political dynamics should be factored into the equation,” said Dry.

Due to the value placed on game the wildlife industry has not only restored wildlife to the land but has also enhanced the genetic quality of SA’s wildlife. Currently, 28 000 000ha of marginal agricultural land have been converted into long-term profitable and sustainable businesses through wildlife ranching.

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