Game ranchers are up in arms against a government decision to ban the hunting of wild animals for trophy. The Ministry of the Environment, Wildlife and Tourism said in a statement recently that government has imposed a ban to trophy hunting and is looking at introducing a new game ranching law. Trophy hunting has proved to be a big business and revenue accrued has benefitted communities that have relied on hunting.
The Botswana Wildlife Producer Association is currently negotiating with government on the plan, which they fault as a radical departure from earlier regulations.The Botswana Wildlife Producer Association’s concern was triggered by governments’ proposed Game Ranching Regulations.
The Association Secretary, Eleanor Patterson said they have raised concerns about the draft regulations which require game ranch owners to pay for a license fee if they were to hunt in their own farms. She also stated that the draft regulation also calls for a complete ban to hunting in game ranches in the 2014-hunting season.
Patterson said a meeting with Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama was fruitful and that Khama promised to scrutinise the matter. The ban of trophy hunting according to the pundits is likely to affect communities with concessions who rely on hunting for livelihood.
Okavango Research Centre, Professor Joseph Mbaiwa indicated that revenue accrued by communities with concession areas will plummet and said this will affect their economic sustainability.
Mbaiwa has maintained that funds raised through trophy hunting were far much higher than photographic safari more specially in community trusts.He feared that many people were likely to lose their jobs, as their source of income would be affected.