Tonight (Monday 29 Oct 2012, SABC 2 at 19.30) the programme 50/50 will broadcast a programme on the largest cull ever authorised on the African continent, the Bredell Cull in the Western Cape, where CapeNature authorised the destruction of almost 900 000 free ranging jackal and caracal.
CapeNature (CN) claims that they are the strictest entity in respect of managing damage causing animals in the country. That illusion (or rather delusion) is shattered when one looks at the facts.
The facts are that CN may indeed be the strictest entity in the history of the African Continent (if not the world) when it comes to authorising a cull of entire indigenous predator species. Indeed, never in recorded history has any government entity embarked on such a large-scale, proactively permitted attempt at wiping out indigenous predator species. In and about May and June last year alone, under political pressure of the politicians of the Western Cape Government, CN issued 490 permits to farmers, permitting each permit holder for a running 6 month period to kill 5 caracal and 5 jackal per permit holder per day (for 183 days in succession). That equated to the destruction order permits for 894 250 animals (and goodness knows how many by-catch innocent animals).
As if that was not enough, the troika of the provincial politicians, CN and the agricultural lobby groups went a step further and negotiated and “agreement” to outsource the management AND the oversight of further culls (by the same hunters), on open ended, uncontrolled culling of these species by hunt clubs. This self-regulation by the hunters would be done by the farming lobbies with whom CN struck the deals. This cull would permit hunting dog packs, helicopter gunships, poison use, night culls and gin traps (renamed by CN as “soft” traps) – the agreement also seemed to allow open season, any method, daytime culling.
CapeNature tried to counter this whistleblowing with spin in press releases and internet released “fact” sheets where they suggest that the Landmark Foundation may have misrepresented the actual number of animals hunted. We deny this. For the record we have objected to the actual number of animals CN permitted for destruction. (We have no idea how many were actually hunted and we contend neither does CapeNature, despite what was “reported” back to CN!).
CN now claim that only 325 animals were in fact killed due to these permits, we would confidently assert that CN is misguided if they purport this to be what actually happened. If CN claim that the permit holders could not kill as many animals as were permitted for destruction, we ask CN to please answer the simple question that they have repeatedly failed to answer, why then did CapeNature issue a destruction permits for 894 250 indigenous free-ranging animals? Did CN or did CN not intend to wipe out the species?
(We have never asserted nor believed that there are even as many as 450 000 caracal and 450 000 jackal in the province, perhaps not even a quarter of that. Yet CapeNature orders the destruction of so many of these species, and this while CN carry a mandate to protect OUR BIODIVERSITY! That is nothing short of a dereliction of duty.)