Although other issues are included in the terms of reference, my overarching concern is always to get the use of gin traps banned, and I always ask that this issue be made number one on the agenda. CN officials and most on the Forum are behind me on this issue, but they say they get voted down at national level by other provinces, whose farmers say: 'give us a feasible alternative first if you value food security.'
There is politics involved too!
One suggestion from a senior CN official at the Forum was to offer incentives; eg for every two awful old gin traps handed in for destruction, one modern 'soft' trap (ie one with hard rubber to grip the leg) would be given in return. And we thought that if we could get sponsorship (Woolworths came to mind since Woolies exec Tom Mclaughlin sits on the Forum) we could also give a raffle ticket as well as the soft trap. At the end of each year, there could be a well publicised draw and the winning ticket would get, say, R50,000. Good publicity for Woolies too as well as raising public awareness.
Only thing is; our colleague at Landmark Foundation, Dr Bool Smuts, hates the 'soft' traps saying they also cause severe damage to the animal, whereas Quinton Martins of Cape Leopard Trust says that they are, at least, a vast improvement. I'll talk to Bool again next week and maybe we can take this idea forward, but there is a strong article by Fiona Macleod in the Mail and Guardian supporting Bool's stance.
Anyway, that is how I spent Friday afternoon.
Oh and I had a catch-up meeting with Toni Brockhoven of Beauty Without Cruelty afterwards, and drank far too much coffee which gave me a bad nights sleep!