|Dear Members of DSC,
As I last reported, DSC President, Craig Nyhus, and I have been in Africa for the last two weeks attending meetings with professional hunting associations and partners. As such, I wanted to provide a quick update.
We began our travels in South Africa, attending the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) annual meeting. The three day meeting began with presentations from the international attendees, including DSC. Much of the remainder of the meeting focused on proposed constitutional and resolution changes. In 2015, PHASA distanced itself from captive-bred lion breeding and hunting. However, in a recent PHASA member survey, 63 percent of respondents supported captive bred lion hunting. As such, a resolution was passed that accepted the hunting of captive bred lions on South Africa Predator Association (SAPA)-accredited ranches within the relevant legal framework and/or according to recommendations of the applicable hunting associations.
When we return to the U.S. and are able to have the required Board discussion, including the effects on the conservation of wild lion and the hunting community, we will provide DSC’s position.
Following PHASA, we attended the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) annual meeting in Windhoek. We had the pleasure of hearing from the Honorable Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, whose message focused on the need for and relevance of conservation hunting. Additionally, recent years hunting statistics were presented and the need for an in-depth study as to how these data can better inform and manage wildlife was acknowledged.
Dr. Louisa Richmond-Coggan provided an update on the national leopard census project. The project has one clear, yet very lofty goal – determine the number of leopards in Namibia and where they are located. Additionally, all species of carnivores captured in the camera surveys will also be catalogued. DSC is a proud partner in this project, as it will contribute much to the understanding and thus conservation of the leopard in Namibia.
Lastly, we remain engaged in discussions regarding the positive enhancement finding for elephants from Zambia and Zimbabwe. We are talking with officials and working closely with others in the conservation and hunting community.
We appreciate your staunch support and also your faith that DSC will advocate for hunters worldwide.
DSC Executive Director