Cabinet concerned about ban on trophy hunting

30 Aug 2015 12:50pm
WINDHOEK, 30 AUG (NAMPA) – Cabinet says a ban on trophy hunting may have a negative impact on wildlife conservation in Namibia.
A media statement issued by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya on Friday said funds generated from trophy hunting are utilised for wildlife conservation locally.
“Cabinet has noted with serious concern that in the aftermath of the shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by an American trophy hunter, international organisations are advocating for a ban on trophy hunting.
“As a result some airlines have already banned the transportation of products from protected huntable game,” the statement said.
Almost 20 major international airlines and carriers, including Delta, United Airlines, Air Canada and Air France changed their shipment policies to exclude hunting trophies following the international outcry caused by the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of an American trophy hunter in July 2015.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta has also previously warned that the ban on trophy hunting and the shipping of hunting trophies will have dire consequences, not only for the Namibian economy, but also for the country’s renowned conservation efforts.
Tweya said Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to follow closely the developments in this regard and update Cabinet at appropriate times.
He also said Cabinet has commended the security forces for increasing their efforts in apprehending criminals involved in the illegal hunting of Namibian wildlife.
He said these efforts will go a long way towards restoring law and order in the protection of the country’s natural resources.
“Cabinet approved and commended the collaboration and team work that is being carried out by the Ministries of Environment and Tourism, Safety and Security, Defence and Namibian Central Intelligence Services (NCIS) in the illegal hunting of our wildlife,” Tweya said.
He further said Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to make use of technology to monitor and assist security personnel in apprehending suspected poachers, noting the progress in the establishment of a anti-poaching unit within the ministry.
Cabinet in addition urged community members, traditional leaders, regional councils and parliamentarians living in the affected areas to condemn illegal hunting and cooperate with the security forces in curbing illegal hunting.