Proposed leopard hunting regulations need to be rethought

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs, Mohlopi Philemon Mapulane, says "our primary mandate is to protect these leopards so that we don’t open them up to a situation where they will be hunted and where they will perish.”

He was responding to the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) presentation on the DEA’s draft Norms and Standards for the management and monitoring of the hunting of leopard published, regulatory document that contains a number of inconsistencies.

The most glaring of which seems to be that the Department of Environmental Affairs has disregarded previous directives and a finding by the Scientific Authority that found that hunting of leopards is likely to have a detrimental affect on the species and that population numbers are vague, at best.

As it stands, the norms and standards pay little regard to this finding, seeming to completely disregard the fact that there is insufficient credible data on leopard populations or the effect that trophy hunting could have on the species.

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Source: News24