The End of the Game
It is the end of the game for South Africa’s wildlife
To understand how lions and rhino and all other formerly wild animals, including exotic species such as tigers, have become domestic livestock, just look at the state of government in S.A.
Decades of corruption, ineptitude and mismanagement in the public sector have brought this country to its knees. It is not only conservation services that are collapsing; most other government services have become dysfunctional. Violent service delivery protests are widespread; education and health services are abysmal; crime is out of control, and cancer is faster than the S.A. legal system.
Paralysed by the close political and economic ties between the S.A. black elite and Asia, the S.A. government looks on with as much understanding or concern as that of a dog watching a passing aircraft, while its wildlife resources are looted.
Into this vacuum where leadership and wise government should be, has appeared an unlikely interface – an overlap between the hunting industry and the Asian crime syndicates. Fortune does indeed make strange bedfellows.
While the Asians suborn poachers to kill rhino and other valuable species, the hunting industry captures them and puts them behind fences to be farmed. There seems to be an inexhaustible market of human brutes who are prepared to spend fortunes in order to enjoy target practice on living targets.
And when the hunters have ‘paid and slayed,’ here are the Asian human/wildife traffickers, eager to buy the lion bones after the forlorn carcase has been stripped of its trophy parts.
Watch Karl Ammann’s excellent video exposing the rhino horn mafia – The Hanoi Connection. See below.
Notice that the same shadowy rhino horn mafia, who are implicated in the illegal dealing in rhino horn, are the same people buying up lion bones from the lion farmers. Neither rhino horn nor lion bones have any medicinal value, and if it is not enough that the products are a fraud on an unsophisticated Asian people, then Karl Ammann’s investigation indicates that 90% of product sold as rhino horn in Asia is fake anyway!
This should explode the myth that legalising the horn trade will ‘satisfy the market.’ Any sensible person can see that in this corrupt environment, legalising the trade in rhino horn will only make the rhino farmers very rich – at the expense of the declining population of wild rhinos.
The game farmers have done it. They’ve taken the wild out of our wildlife. Now, they are arrogantly demanding that the Department of Environment (DEA) gets out of their way completely and hands over responsibilty for all game farming, including rhino and lion farming, to the Department of Agriculture. There, they know, there will be no attempt to enforce any animal welfare standards on their grisly activities. The SA Department of Agriculture has been trying for 8 years to produce an animal welfare policy, alas, to no effect. (how hard can it be?)
The hunters, under the banner Wildlife Ranching SA, are objecting to the proposal by the DEA to give TOPS protection to red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, giraffe, sable antelope, klipspringer, gemsbuck, southern reedbuck, Cape buffalo, nyala and bushbuck.
They say that the proposed TOPS regulations are in direct conflict with, and will stifle their plans to, expand game meat production.
So right there is conclusive proof of the paradigm change in conservation. Call it the new bushmeat paradigm. ‘Conservationists get lost,’ say the game farmers,’ a buffalo is just a piece of meat.’