Namibians will retaliate - Shifeta

Minister defends trophy hunting while in US

25 January 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says Namibian communities will retaliate against wildlife if trophy hunting is not allowed in conservancies.

Shifeta was speaking recently at the Dallas Safari Club Convention and Sporting Expo in Texas.

“We allow these communities to hunt in their conservancies, in that way we are supporting these communities not only to benefit, but also to conserve these animals, because without this support communities will retaliate against wild animals because they destroy their crops and attack their livestock.”

The ministry has faced heavy criticism from some anti-trophy hunting groups that have described the hunting of wildlife as barbaric.

They further claim that trophy hunting does not hold any benefit for the country.

Shifeta rejected these claims, saying trophy hunting in Namibia is effectively controlled and done with the application of science, and within the principle of sustainability.

The Dallas Safari Club has also expressed interest in supporting Namibia's anti-poaching activities and wildlife conservation.

Namibian hunting safari companies have been participating in the Dallas Safari Club Convention and Sporting Expo in collaboration with the ministry and the Namibia Professional Hunters Association (NAPHA) for many years.

About 30 Namibian hunting safari companies participated at this year's expo.

An agreement was signed between the ministry and the Dallas Safari Club in 2016, which provides for support towards Namibia's conservation programme, and according to Shifeta fruitful discussions were held on implementing the agreement that will result in funding for Namibia.

“We feel that this agreement bears fruits; so far we have many outfitters and safari companies that come to showcase their products here and apart from that we also have an understanding of supporting conservation and anti-poaching activities in Namibia. It is one of the important events in our calendar that we attend,” Shifeta said.

The Namibian hunting season starts on 1 February and ends on 30 November, and according to Shifeta many professional hunters have already booked their hunting sessions, which will pour more revenue into the Game Product Trust Fund (GPTF) to support Namibia's conservation programme.

Shifeta also congratulated Danene van der Westhuyzen, the president of NAPHA, for having been appointed to serve on the Dallas Safari Club Conservation Advisory Board.

The board will provide recommendations and advice on regional and global research, programme development, and advocacy for domestic and international conservation issues.

This will support the hunting club's mission of conserving wildlife and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide.