Western Cape to allow most game species

Most game species indigenous to South Africa could soon be allowed into the Western Cape, following amendments to CapeNature’s translocation policy. Some changes will be implemented from as early as end September 2010.

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The result will be extended ranges for wildlife species such as bontebok and blesbok. And, following a further interim agreement between the hunting industry and CapeNature, gemsbok, kudu, black wildebeest and giraffe can be translocated legally throughout the Western Cape – provided the associated ecological and environmental risks are adequately addressed in the policy and managed on the ground.

The interim arrangement follows recommendations by a forum consisting of representatives from the game and hunting industry and CapeNature. The forum was established after a public meeting between CapeNature, game-industry stakeholders and provincial government in June this year.

Game farmers who attended the meeting argued that the policies implemented by CapeNature restricted them from bringing in those species’ that are sought after by hunters and popular with tourists and thus prevented the province from having an economically viable game industry.

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Louis van Rensburg, forum member and spokesperson for the Western Cape game industry, told Farmer’s Weekly the policy will be amended to better reflect the industry’s needs.“The fact that we’ll now be allowed to bring these animals into the Western Cape holds tremendous opportunities for ecotourism as we aren’t restricted to only showcasing certain animals,” said Van Rensburg.The forum was working on finalising the amendments to CapeNature’s draft translocation policy and the implementation of the revised policy could begin early in 2011.