Trophy hunting quotas halted by urgent interim relief

Posted on 29 March 2022 By Anita Froneman

The Western Cape High Court has granted urgent interim relief pending the judgment of the interdict against the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s (DFFE) hunting and export quotas for leopard, black rhino and elephants.  

READ: New hunting permits include 10 critically endangered black rhino

Animal protection organisation Humane Society International/Africa argues that the DFFE failed to comply with the consultative process prescribed by the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (NEMBA) when making the quota decision.

‘HSI/Africa asserts that the relief provided, pending the judgment of the interim interdict, will provide the opportunity to fully review the Minister’s Record of Decision by which these quota allocations were made,’ HSI said in a statement

HSI argued that the 2022 trophy hunting quota, as issued by the DFFE’s Minister Barbara Creecy, was unlawful for the following reasons: 

  • The DFFE announced the quotas on 25 February 2022 without consulting the public, which renders the decision invalid and unlawful; 
  • The notice for the 2021 quota, which was purportedly deferred to 2022 by the DFFE, was, in any event, defective and thus rendered any quota decisions arising from that process invalid and unlawful; 
  • The DFFE may not issue a quota for trophy hunting and export of elephant, black rhino or leopard without valid non-detriment findings. 

In its 25 February 2022 press release, the DFFE argued that the hunting quotas allocated are based on the fact that ‘regulated and sustainable hunting is an important conservation tool in South Africa.’ However, HSI/Africa’s said its 2022 Trophy Hunting by the Numbers Report showed that 83% of trophies exported from South Africa are from captive-bred animals, non-native species or species such as caracal, baboons and honey badgers that are not subject to scientifically based management plans. 

 Tony Gerrans, executive director for Humane Society International/Africa said: ‘HSI has long sought engagement with the Department regarding the harm that trophy hunting causesthe damage to individual animals and to the conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife, as well as South Africa’s reputation as an ethical wildlife destination.

‘It is not true to assert that without trophy hunting revenues, conservation in South Africa would be unfunded. More beneficial, transformational, long-term alternatives to the killing of threatened, vulnerable and endangered animals for fun already exist,’ Gerrans added.

HSI/Africa will now await the final judgment on the interim interdict, which is expected in two weeks. The DFFE must make public the Minister’s Record of Decision that informed the quota announcement. 

Picture: Getaway gallery


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