African Outfitter :: Editor's Letter
May/June 2014
   African Outfitter

Those who do and those who only say they do...

The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) recently invited me to their annual fund-raising gala dinner in Johannesburg. This prestigious event is held annually to raise funds for
training and education in the conservation sector, and this year an astonishing R2,36 million (US$236 000) was raised – an all-time record! The monies are raised by means of an auction of donated items, varying from tracks imprinted in elephant dung to a lion hunt in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. One of the great things about this annual auction is that animals in provincial reserves are offered for hunting to raise funds for conservation. These are obviously excess animals past their prime and productive cycle. This logical concept should be adopted by all game reserves, but is in fact still regarded as “from the devil” by all animal rights organisations.

Once again a hunting organisation (PHASA) is taking responsibility for conservation. This phenomenon has been typical of similar organisations across the world, e.g. Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, and many more. How these organisations spend the funds that they raise is a matter that is always open to public scrutiny and the results are therefore made public for all to evaluate. The golden thread of conservation through sustainable utilisation is evident in these cases.

With this in mind I wish to share another concept with our readers. Do we know where our service suppliers stand with regard to hunting, conservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources? Just recently I corresponded with a large restaurant franchise in South Africa, famous for their fish dishes (for more detail visit the African Outfitter group on facebook). In their communication to me they clearly stated, “The handshake agreement was in line with the hunting interest from our directors, but this does not fit in with the brand focus.” Hunters should make sure that they do not perhaps spend money with groups or persons that might be using their money to fuel animal rights organisations. Over the years I have experienced that companies such as these will gladly take hunters’ dollars for their coffers but will rather choose to distance themselves publicly from hunting.

I urge all hunters to consider the above when they spend their money as we might be sponsoring our enemies out of ignorance. We have a right to know!

Neels Geldenhuys
Chief Editor


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