Hunters vital for conservation

I refer to the column ‘Townie has gone off biltong’ by Derek Christopher (7 June).

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It demonstrates an almost total lack of knowledge about trophy hunting. The column gratuitously insults many fine hunters, whose efforts have been the main reason behind the recovery of game numbers, bringing them back from the brink of disaster. Trophy hunters who moved to South Africa after hunting was banned in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in the 1970s, revolutionised hunting in this country.

According to two surveys, the numbers of game in South Africa have increased significantly between 1964 and 2005. By getting ‘more for a kudu than a cow’ farmers have been encouraged not only to conserve their game, but to make more land available for other species. As a result, land under game in South Africa has grown to 21 million hectares, or three times the amount of land taken up by all the country’s national parks and reserves put together.

By contrast, Kenya has lost over 80% of its game since hunting was banned. Moreover, the game shot by trophy hunters is eaten by the hunters, trackers, camp staff and their dependents, or are they not worthy of this nutritious, free form of protein?

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