CHASA Policy on Wildlife Utilisation, Hunting and Conservation.
CHASA supports the ideal that wild animals and other forms of biodiversity are conserved, and where necessary, managed in their natural environment in accordance with natural processes.
CHASA acknowledges the reality that unspoilt natural areas are scarce because of the unchecked and pervasive development resulting in urbanisation and agricultural activities which are geared to satisfy the basic shelter and food requirements of the human species.
CHASA endorses the sound conservation principle of Sustainable Resource Utilisation.
CHASA underwrites the National Conservation Strategy of South Africa, the product of the government’s signature of the IUCN’s World Conservation Strategy (WCS), and believes that responsible and maintainable wildlife farming and utilization can contribute constructively to the conservation of biodiversity.
CHASA recognises that multiple systems of land use have developed within South Africa, both on state land and on privately owned land. CHASA furthermore accepts that these systems are driven by differing objectives, but recognises that the wildlife ranching as well as protected natural systems both contribute greatly towards biodiversity conservation.
CHASA recognises the right of the landowner who has chosen wild species over domesticated stock or crops as a farming activity to make a living off the land and therefore accepts that the landowner must strive to profit, as an essential element of sustainability, from the chosen ranching/farming activities. This practice is recognised as being the source and supply of the vast majority of game animals available for hunting in South Africa.
CHASA further recognises these wildlife ranches as being far more beneficial for biodiversity conservation than traditional stock or crop farms, but they should not, as a priority, have an elevated conservation obligation ahead of their sustainability and viability obligation, any more so than that which a stock or crop farmer would have. Restrictions and regulations applicable to them should be reasonable, and limited to ensuring that no direct damage or threat exists to wild free roaming or neighbouring populations of wildlife or habitat.
CHASA recognises that our Wildlife Industry, whilst underpinned by fair chase hunting, of necessity includes activities to harvest game or reduce damage causing animals or otherwise manage offtake. The differences between these various legitimate, essential activities is a question of semantics amongst hunters. We are bound to stand in defence and further the interests of those who participate across all these various activities.
CHASA aims to preserve and cultivate the traditions and lore of hunting. Notwithstanding the statement in the preceding paragraph, CHASA encourages all hunters to seek personal fulfilment in their quarry taken in a manner as close as is reasonably possible to that described in our FAIR CHASE POLICY whenever the intent of the harvest is for the celebration of a trophy or entering into our SA Record Book. To this end, any animal taken from a source and/or in a manner which is not close to this standard, should be taken for personal or consumptive use and be seen as a harvest or management hunt only.
CHASA therefore takes its stance on the following aspects:
- CHASA is opposed to the deliberate breeding of hybrids and discourages its members, and hunters in general, to seek to hunt, and thus create a demand for such animals.
- CHASA condemns the irresponsible practice of “Put & Take Hunting” where animals are hunted so soon after translocation that they are not habituated to their new territory.
- CHASA will condemn any breeding practice where proper scientific evidence indicates that it could be harmful to existing wildlife meta-populations and/or biodiversity.
- CHASA accepts the reality that nature is dynamic and that there is constant evolution in the demographics of wild species, that species possess a natural distribution potential, and furthermore, that most domesticated and some wild species on agricultural land, including wildlife ranches, in South Africa are at present exotic in origin.
Issued by CHASA Exco, as Mandated by the Board on 20 Feb 2016
Replaces CHASA Policy on Conservation.