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Massive revenue raked in from hunting

Namibian Sun logo Namibian Sun 2018-12-02 Namibian Sun

a large elephant standing in the grass © Provided by Namibian Sun Massive revenue raked in from hunting One hunter brings the same amount of revenue into the country as roughly 2 000 tourists.

This is according to Danene van der Westhuyzen, the president of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (Napha).

Speaking at Napha's annual general meeting last week, she said anti-hunting proponents do not seem to want to understand that the real “Armageddon” for wildlife in Africa is the population explosion and the concurrent loss of wildlife habitat.

According to her the overexploitation and growing environmental dangers from over-tourism are also contributing factors.

“An increase in asphalt roads, electricity lines, water, mountains of garbage and a never-decreasing list of requirements and needs to be met for tourists wanting to observe game from already worn-out gravel roads,” Van der Westhuyzen said.

She said in contrast one hunter seeks nothing more than unspoiled open landscapes and wild animals unaffected by humans.

Van der Westhuyzen said in Namibia hunting is an integral part of a successful conservation model, which benefits communities, wildlife and natural ecosystems.

According to her Namibia's total population was 1.655 million people with a density of 2.01 people per square kilometre 20 years ago. Today the population stands at 2.587 million people with a projected 3.686 million people by 2038.

“Namibia is a country that still offers wide-open spaces and habitats for all species to roam freely. But more importantly it has proven beyond doubt its conservation efforts for all game species through responsible hunting.”

Van der Westhuyzen said despite the growth of the human population, the elephant population in the northwest has increased from 7 000 to 23 500 over the last 20 years, while the lion population in the northwest has increased from 20 to 150.

“We have the world's largest free-roaming populations of cheetah and black rhino and well over 70% of Namibia is under one or other form of conservation management. This makes for one of the world's largest contiguous areas of protected land. We have more wildlife in Namibia today than at any time in the past 150 years.”

She said Napha and the environment ministry have demonstrated abundantly, and with ample merit, that conservation through hunting works.

“Nevertheless we are faced with international bans on trophy imports, airline bans and charges on transporting hunting rifles and trophies, extreme social media uproar and aggressive anti-hunting campaigns to the extent of identifying hunters and sending insulting hate mails and even death threats.”

According to her anti-hunting groups like to deceive the world and blame the decline in African wildlife numbers seen in other countries on hunting, but refuse to distinguish between legal hunting and poaching.

She said the “knife in the back of hunters” is a handful of uninformed people in Namibia who run anti-hunting campaigns and rave on social media about hunters who share photos of animals they have hunted. According to her Namibia's wildlife has never been more vulnerable and the hunting community has never been more weak and desperate.

ELLANIE SMIT

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