Water shortages are a chronic and severe problem in much of South Africa. The country has no commercially navigable rivers and no significant natural lakes. Game farming is a lot more adaptable to severe weather conditions than any other forms of farming therefore game farming is very beneficial for South Africa as land is used that can’t be used for other forms of farming. Just like any other form of farming it is also important for the game farmer to keep an ecological balance. This is done through hunting, culling and game capture.
There are people who criticize hunting as well as culling of wild animals but have little knowledge of the important role it plays in conservation. Animals in South Africa are protected in camps and reserves. It is now man’s responsibility to manage these animals by making sure they don’t deplete resources due to over population. Hunting is a component of modern wildlife management and it is often used to maintain a healthy population of animals where reserves are too small to allow natural regulations of populations or where hunting is a key part of the financial objective of the area.
To explain the magnitude of the hunting industry in South Africa, NWU compiled a list of job opportunities created through game farming and hunting and sectors that would be knocked – if not shut down – if hunting were banned in the country.
There are specific departments in the government’s structures that focus only on issuing permits and managing legislation for hunting.
In the case of South Africa, there is the National Department of Environmental Affairs together with nine provincial offices that all have people employed in the field.
Taxidermists process the trophies, and also supply products to curio shops and arts and crafts shops.
There are hundreds of these businesses in South Africa and even more informal vendors who sell products made from wild animals. Taxidermists also have their own suppliers that supply them with materials, chemicals, and the other produce they use.
- Meat processing
In South Africa, wildlife meat is big business. Butcheries sell the meat and processed products (biltong, chili bites, steak) to the public.
Therefore, companies that sell spices and meat processing equipment and products will also be affected by the ban.
- Hunting equipment and gear suppliers
This part of the industry is substantial and includes the manufacturers of rifles, knives, ammunition, binoculars, telescopes, bows and arrows, hunting optics, tripods (bipods), reloading equipment, and shooting targets, to name but a few. A large percentage of these are imported.
- Hunting organizations
Currently, there are numerous hunting organizations in South Africa including PHASA, SA Hunters and CHASA. The ban would leave all these organizations in dire straits.
- Game capturing and transportation
Due to hunting, game farm owners sell game among each other; in South Africa, this is an enormous industry and worth billions of Rands.
Think about all the game capturing equipment, including vehicles, helicopters, capturing nets, and darting rifles, to name a few. This industry would largely collapse if hunting were to be banned.
- Veterinary services
Public and state-owned veterinary services benefit greatly from the hunting industry. Game is sold among product/game farm owners due to hunting.
Farmers or product owners are not allowed to dart or tranquilize wildlife and therefore must make use of a registered vet. The pharmaceutical companies in this regard benefit tremendously from this industry.
Clothing companies produce huge quantities of clothing for the hunting industry, including camouflage clothing, shoes, hats, jackets, and even underwear.
- Tradeshows and exhibitions
Each year, numerous trade shows and exhibitions are held worldwide. South Africa’s biggest hunting exhibition, Hunt Ex, annually attracts hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors.
Consider the economic impact of these tradeshows on host regions and countries.
- Firearm dealers and manufactures
South Africa alone hosts a couple of hundred firearm dealers, which are mostly dependent on the hunting industry. Most of the firearms sold are imports from other countries outside of Africa.
If hunting stops, most firearm dealers will close their doors.
Giraffebone.com is another component of the hunting ecosystem. We have established numerous relationships in the industry in order for us to be able to source left over horn, bones and skulls that would otherwise left to rot and we recycle it to make the beautiful handles you know and love.