Tough talk

Roelof Bezuidenhout’s interview with Arthur Rudman (16 November, pg 38) refers. It has been a while since Mr Rudman last appeared in your magazine and to his credit, he remains passionately consistent.

- Advertisement -

Reading what he has to say reminds me of Louis L’Amour’s Western novels: lots of tough talk; good guys fighting off bad guys against insurmountable odds (often with the help of family and friends), and ultimately victory is secured after a showdown in the main street. While appreciating the significant impact predator losses have on small stock farmers, Mr Rudman’s solution is to return to techniques which have been practised for the past 200 years.

If these were as successful as claimed there would be no need to revert to them, as the problem would surely have been solved decades ago. I would hazard a guess that research-based, more ethical predator control measures would prove no less successful than the methods promoted by Mr Rudman; if given more time and opportunity to refine and improve.

Consumerism is changing the world, across all industries. In agriculture, few people would have believed 10 years ago the global impact demand for organic and free-range foodstuffs would have on production. I would suggest that within the next decade consumers (through the supermarkets) will demand ethical predator control on meat producing farms.

- Advertisement -

Finally, I have yet to read an objective article claim that leopard numbers in South Africa are such that their ‘populations need to be kept under control’. In fact, the opposite is true and I challenge Mr Rudman to dispute this, and remain credible.