WAPFSA INFORMS EUROPEAN POLITICIANS ABOUT RECENT SURVEY AND STUDIES ON THE SUBJECT OF TROPHY HUNTING IN SOUTH AFRICA

WAPFSA members appreciate the concerns of European politicians and decision-makers, with regard to supporting the implementation policies that might negatively affect developing countries such as South Africa.

The Care2 Petition titled “It’s Time to Ban Trophy Hunting in South Africa” has 432 635 supporters.
https://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/200/628/320/its-time-to-ban-trophy-hunting-in-south-africa/

WAPFSA members were recently offered the opportunity to address the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

WAPFSA used this opportunity to share, amongst other, the results of surveys recently conducted which reflect the view of South Africans on the subject of trophy hunting in South Africa.

A IPSOS Survey commissioned by the animal protection charity Humane Society International Africa revealed that 68% of the South African population oppose trophy hunting and the majority oppose the practise of canned lion hunting. The survey reported only on local data sourced from a diverse South African demographic across all provinces.

 WAPFSA members reminded the German Federal Ministry representative about the fact that trophy hunting is rooted in colonial modes of extraction which perpetuate notions of abuse, subjugation, control and inequality, including gender inequality.

WAPFSA members referred to Dr Muchazondida Mkono, whose research focuses on sustainable tourism and ethical tourism including wildlife tourism, environmentalism, tourism impacts and air travel. Dr Mkono states that existing studies on the trophy hunting controversy in recent years have largely represented the anti-hunting views of the Western public, while overlooking the opinions of African people.

Her research has found that trophy hunting was objectionable as a consequence of its complex historical and postcolonial associations−the dominant pattern was resentment towards what was viewed as the neo-colonial character of trophy hunting, in the way it privileges Western elites in accessing Africa’s wildlife. The growing concerns in relation to trophy hunting include its social, environmental and economic impacts. Trophy hunting artificially selects the biggest and strongest animals (largest tusks and thickest manes), weakening populations’ genetic health and variation. Research also suggests that increasing selectivity of trophy hunting is strongly associated with an increasing risk of extinction. Trophy hunters target the largest, strongest individuals. Killing the lion pride male, the matriarch of the elephant herd, big males or irreplaceable tuskers results in social dislocation in the surviving members of the group, disrupting social bonds and behaviours. Trophy hunting undeniably damages the structure and viability of wild populations of animals.

WAPFS referred to a 2022 Report by Good Governance Africa (GGA), a South African not-for-profit organization whose mandate focuses on research and advocacy to improve governance across Africa, questioned whether the South African government had grounds to determine trophy hunting quotas and whether they should promote trophy hunting as a conservation tool on economic grounds. In addition to Economists at Large, Paksi and Pyhälä and Koot, the Report argues that trophy hunting does not play an important role in the economic development of African communities.

Furthermore, WAPFSA members included the details of a study by the World Travel & Tourism Council which confirmed that wildlife is worth more alive than dead. In another study conducted in eight African countries by economists, it was concluded that, tourism which relies for the most part, on wildlife contributed between 2.8% and 5.1% of GDP, and foreign trophy hunters made up less than 0.03% of the same GDP on average. Similarly, photo safaris, in comparison, allowed for sustainable, lucrative tourism activities without killing wildlife.

NOMINATIONS FOR MINISTERIAL LION TASK TEAM

PUBLIC STATEMENT FRIDAY 26TH AUGUST 2022

THE APPOINTMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA MINISTERIAL TASK TEAM TO IDENTIFY AND RECOMMEND VOLUNTARY EXIT OPTIONS AND PATHWAYS FROM THE CAPTIVE LION INDUSTRY 

On the 21st and 22nd of August 2018, the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs conducted a successful colloquium on the Captive Breeding of Lions for Hunting and the Lion Bone Trade.  There was an overwhelming consensus from the local and international stakeholders, participating in the colloquium, that the South Africa must bring an end to this controversial practice that is threatening to harm the proud conservation image of our country.  The subsequent Report by the Portfolio Committee was adopted by Parliament, they requested that the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment initiate a policy and legislative review with a view to putting an end to the captive breeding of lions for hunting and the lion bone trade. 

On the 10th of October 2019, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment appointed a High Level Panel of Experts in response to a number of emotive and complex conservation and sustainable use issues including the lion bone trade, the hunting of captive bred lions, the elephant culling debate, the ivory stockpile and the trade in rhinoceros horn.

On the 2nd of May 2021, the High Level Panel Report, which had been approved by the Cabinet, was released.   The majority of the High Level Panel recommended that South Africa does not captive breed lions, keep lions in captivity, or use captive lions or their derivatives commercially.  Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy requested that the Department action this accordingly and ensure that the necessary consultation for implementation is conducted.

On the 12th of August 2022 the Minister gave notice of her intention to appoint a Ministerial Task Team that will function as an advisory committee, to identify voluntary exit options and pathways from the captive lion industry, and to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the same. 

The prerequisite Members of the appointed Task Team, were such that when viewed collectively, must be persons who are selected by virtue of qualifications, expertise, and experience. 

After careful consideration the Members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum (WAPFSA) nominated and endorsed seven eligible candidates, the details of whom have been presented to Dr Tsepang Makholela. 

The Members of WAPFSA acknowledge their candidates for their preparedness, their disposition and their inclination to assert themselves for this task. 

END OF STATEMENT

Image Credit: Gurcharan Roopra Photography

©WAPFSA 2022. All Rights Reserved.

WAPFSA STATEMENT ON TEEPSA PROPOSED OFFSHORE EXPLORATION IN BLOCK 567 SOUTH WESTERN COAST SOUTH AFRICA

WAPFSA URGES REGISTRATION OF INTERESTED AND AFFECTED PARTIES AND TO COMMENT ON THE “TEEPSA” 567 DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

STATEMENT

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Proposed Offshore Exploration Well Drilling in Block 5/6/7 on the South Western Coast of South Africa.

TotalEnergies Exploration & Production South Africa (TEEPSA) and its Joint Venture partners are inviting consultation with interested and affected parties.

Register Your Concern

TotalEnergies EP South Africa Block 567 (Pty) Ltd (“TEEPSA”) has applied to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for Environmental Authorisation to undertake exploration well drilling in Block 567.  

Block 5/6/7 TEEPSA is identified a 10 000 square kilometre area of interest for hydrocarbon exploration approximately 60km from the coast at its closest point and 170km at its furthest. The Area of Interest is located offshore roughly between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas.

Please consider registering as an interested and affected party and comment of the Draft Scoping Report on or before the 4th July 2022.  

Please read the Scoping Report – A Non-Technical Summary: 

https://cdn.slrconsulting.com/uploads/2022-05/TEPSA_567_ESIA_Drill_NTS_220511_Rev6%20ENG.pdf

Registration Documents: 
https://cdn.slrconsulting.com/uploads/2022-05/TEEPSA%20567%20ESIA%20Stakeholder%20DSR%20Letter%20220520_Rev4%20ENG%20GENERAL.pdf

Important Environmental Considerations 

The South-West Coast supports a rich diversity of marine life including sensitive benthic habitats, species, plankton, fish and shark, turtles, seabirds and marine mammals including whales, dolphins and seals. 

There is a marginal overlap with the Vulnerable Cape Canyon habitat ecosystem and there is a 5.4% overlap with Critical Biodiversity Areas. 

There will be up to five wells drilled depending on the success of the first drilling campaign.  Anticipated commencement is between the 4th quarter of 2023 and the 2nd quarter of 2024.  The duration of drilling operation is 3 to 4 months. 

Reason for Concern

Local communities connected to the ocean environment  should be concerned that their way of life might be disrupted. Indigenous communities hold spiritual and cultural connections to the ocean and local small scale fishers may be negatively affected by harm that might be caused to marine life. 

Seabed mining generates constant noise that can be heard over vast areas of ocean.  This noise can cause whales to leave the area, or have impacts likes stress, reduced reproductive success and survivability. 

Deep-sea mining should be halted until the criteria specified by the IUCN are met, including the introduction of assessments, effective regulation and mitigation strategies.  Comprehensive studies are needed to improve our understanding of deep-sea ecosystems and the vital services they provided to people, such as food and carbon sequestration. Species such as whales, tuna and sharks could be affected by noise, vibrations light pollution caused by mining equipment and surface vessels.

Reports suggests that noise pollution produced by deep-sea mining activities could have far-reaching effects on the marine environment, from surface to seafloor.  

Deep-sea mining is a potential risk with environmental consequences due to the continuous low level noise and the sediment that will be stirred up which could impact upon mammals livelihood.  

Scientists and environmentalists urging an international moratorium on deep-sea mining after releasing a report indicating its impact on the Pacific Ocean that would be severe, extensive and last for generations. 

Image Credit: Hermanus Whales

©WAPFSA 2022.  All Rights Reserved.

ZIMBABWE AFRICAN ELEPHANT SUMMIT FRESH BID TO REVIVE IVORY TRADE WITH A ONE-OFF IVORY SALE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/zimbabwe-urges-sale-of-stockpile-of-seized-elephant-ivory/2022/05/17/184678be-d5d8-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html

MEMBERS OF THE WILDLIFE ANIMAL PROTECTION FORUM OF SOUTH AFRICA SIGNED A JOINT STATEMENT BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY TODAY:

https://eia-international.org/news/fresh-bid-to-revive-global-ivory-trade-with-a-one-off-sale-is-likely-to-drive-elephant-poaching-surge/?fbclid=IwAR3OcnVIe5gNEk-MFLhLic9yXvTQKKn9oOTh5W6kS6CT4tYiCmzOO6P0yG0

©The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa 2022. All Rights Reserved.

WAPFSA AND ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS URGE SOUTH AFRICA TO DESIST FROM THE WILD COAST SEISMIC ACTIVITIES

Addressed to:

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa

Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy

CEO South African National Biodiversity Institute, Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi

CEO Shell, Mr Ben Van Beurden

COPY OF THE OPEN LETTER:

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS URGE THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT TO DESIST FROM THE CURRENT SEISMIC SURVEY ACTIVITIES TO ALLOW FOR FURTHER URGENT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 

The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA), is an alliance of diverse South African NGOs that share certain values, knowledge and objectives. WAPFSA collectively comprises of a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, welfare, rights, tourism, social justice, indigenous rights,  public advocacy sectors and the law.

The communication supported by the undersigned national and international organisations refer to the proposed seismic exploration activity by Shell and Shearwater GeoServices that is due to begin on or around the 1st of December 2021 and fully support the actions and campaign from the coalition called Oceans Not Oil.

The undersigned members are opposed to the proposed exploration activities due to a host of reasons which are outlined below: 

In 2013, Impact Africa Limited applied for an Exploration Rights in terms of Section 79 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) to explore for oil and gas in the Transkei and Algoa Exploration Areas off the East Coast of South Africa. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report was, at that stage, not a requirement in the application process and an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) was drawn up instead. In the eight years since the exploration rights were applied for, legislation has changed and it is now mandatory that an EIA is carried out for projects of this nature. It is vitally important that a high level of research and study be undertaken before such a large scale seismic survey can be  permitted. Various assessments need to be conducted by scientists to determine the effects of the proposed project before it can be allowed to commence. 

WAPFSA COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED HUNTING QUOTA FOR ELEPHANTS, BLACK RHINO AND LEOPARD IN 2021

Herewith the WAPFSA submission in its entirety:

WAPFSA remains concerned by the general, seeming lack of appreciation of the enormous challenges involved with the creation of a truly sustainable future. Since the hosting of the Paris Climate Accord in 2015 and CoP 26, the Glasgow Climate Change Summit, we are all now aware of the reality of climate change.

Future environmental conditions will be far more unpredictable and dangerous. The negative effects of climate change will adversely affect human health, wealth, and well-being, this could perversely diminish the political capacity to mitigate the erosion of the ecosystem upon which society depends. The scale of the threat to life is difficult to comprehend even for the well-informed experts. The science upon which these assumptions is based seems indisputable however awareness and the willingness to alter our behaviour is weak.

Without fully appreciating and broadcasting the scale of the problem and the enormity of the solution required, society will fail to achieve even modest sustainability goals. Halting biodiversity loss is nowhere close to the top of any country’s priorities.

Excerpts from the WAPFSA Submission:

WAPFSA commends the efforts of Minister Barbara Creecy, a revision of the current legal framework and the proposal of a New Deal For Wildlife based upon the 2020 recommendations of the High Level Panel of experts for the management of Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Elephant in South Africa. We look forward to witnessing the implementation of these Recommendations, which are linked to the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Bill, which is tabled for implementation on 2023. The aforementioned Bill was ready to be introduced to Cabinet for approval for publication for comment, but was withheld pending the finalisation of the High-Level Panel of Experts Report. The HLP reviewed policies, legislation and practices on matters relating to the management, breeding, hunting trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros and the finalisation of the White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity.

The Minister and her Department are facing complex challenges with the finalisation of a national overreaching policy and the White Paper to include a new legal and administrative framework which is more transparent, enforceable, accountable, includingan overhaul of the current permitting system.

WAPFSA members want to affirm their support of the principles of the re-wildling of the environment of the reintegration of captive wildlife back into the wild, of enhancing wildlife’s chances of survival in the wild, of reversing the domestication and exploitation ofwildlife in captivity and under intensive management.

During several stakeholder meetings, the concept of breeding leopards in captivity was suggested, for the “Sustainable Use” of leopard skin for traditional and cultural usage. This notion is completely against the vision and recommendations of the HLP.

Further Principles contained in the conclusive HLP Recommendations include:

  1. The inclusion of interspecies welfare and wellbeing, in particular, the principles of “One Welfare” and “One Health for the benefit of human and non-human animals.
  2. The halting of commodification of wildlife and wilderness
  3. Efforts to reverse biodiversity losses through the promotion of regenerative practices, including practices to revive the African identity and heritage and the indigenous knowledge consistent with the protection of Nature.
  4. Enhancing the reputation of South Africa as a conservation destination – this will also incentivise consistent externalfunding -through the inclusion of principles of ethics, intrinsic value, sentience.
  5. The inclusion of indigenous knowledge, including its notions of mutuality and respect for Nature and serving Nature.

WAPFSA members firmly believe that whilst the aforementioned legal framework is under revision, trophy hunting quotas should not be issued. The HLP recommended that “Legislative provision must be updated or expanded to ensure responsible regulation and governance” and stressed that National Norms and Standards for Hunting Methods have not been finalised up to date.

For hunting to be sustainable into the future and to continue contributing to conservation, the wildlife economy and the well-being of people, a social licence to operate is required from the general public, not only enabling legislation. Defining a social licence requires understanding the different perceptions of hunting, which are inextricably connected to: practices associated with hunting; the land use classes and associated management practices of hunted populations; its contribution to conservation of the species hunted; and the fair and equitable sharing of associated benefits.

To date there does not seem to be any confirmation of a fair and equitable sharing processes and associated benefits. WAPFSA members strongly suggest that no hunting and export quotas should be issued until this process is completed.

THE MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION OF BABOONS A NEW POLICY DRAFTING PROCESS FOR THE CAPE PENINSULA

Members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum of South Africa have written to Minister Bredell and Dr Ernst Baard requesting the inclusion of such members in the decision making process of the drafting of the new policy for the management and protection of baboons in the Cape Peninsula.

Herewith the copy of the letter:

Excerpts from the letter dated Tuesday 24th August 2021:

The members of WAPFSA would, once again, like to formally express their insistence with regard to being involved and consulted with, as a wildlife welfare and protection sector, during the planning process of the new proposed Baboon Management Policy for the Cape Peninsula. 

We have been led to believe from media reports that such guidelines are being reviewed under the guidance of Cape Nature, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and other stakeholders.

WAPFSA has, on multiple occasions, formally indicated that citizens in the Cape Peninsula need new legislation and by-laws rather than guidelines. 

WAPFSA is hereby requesting to be kept informed on the exact processes and timeline of consultations. In addition, we believe that consultation with our sector should occur prior to any proposed amendments to the management policy are considered and not after.

WAPFSA members believe that the suggestion of attending workshops to review the new guidelines and protocols once these are formulated is not acceptable.

WAPFSA members have a historic interest in the management and protection of Chacma Baboons in the Cape Peninsula.

WAPFSA members, with their vast and varied experience in wildlife conservation, wildlife welfare and constitutional and environmental law have been included in decision making processes at national level, and therefore as a sector deserve to be consulted.

Image Credit: Bolo, Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

© 2021 WAPFSA. All rights reserved

WAPFSA MEMBERS COMMENTARY ON DFFE DRAFT POLICY POSITION 2021

On the 28th July 2021 members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum of South Africa submitted their comments on the Draft Policy Position (published in Government Gazette no. 44776 of 28th June 2021) on the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

PLEASE READ THE FULL SUBMISSION HERE:

“WAPFSA members support a Draft Policy Position with a broad vision of “secured, restored and re-wilded natural landscapes with thriving populations of elephant, lion, rhino and leopard as indicators for a vibrant, responsible, inclusive, transformed and sustainable wildlife sectors and an equitable society living in harmony with natural resources” which we intend as Nature.”

WAPFSA members are also in support of and endorse the individual in-depth submissions made by:

Animal Law Reform South Africa

Ban Animal Trading

The EMS Foundation and Wild Law Reform

Four Paws South Africa

The Global White Lion Trust

Rhinos in Africa

The Pro Elephant Network

WAPFSA REQUEST AN INCLUSIVE DFFE POLICY MAKING PROCESS

On the 2nd of May 2021 Minister Creecy released and published the High-Level Panel report which reviewed the policies and regulations on hunting, trade, captive management and handling of elephant, lion, leopard, and rhinos. 

The appointment of this panel was a direct result of the Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding which was held in August 2018.  A number of organisations gave evidence to the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs who requested that the Department of Environmental Affairs initiate a policy and legislative review.  The DEA decided to include a number of other burning issues related to other iconic species.   Minister Creecy established the High-Level Panel on the 10th of October 2019. 

Minister Creecy stated: There are key recommendations to reposition and organise protected areas, simplify and make more effective legislative and administrative processes as well as to improve cooperative governance.  The Department will initiate processes to resolve these. 

Transformation of the sector will be prioritised, in terms of improved inclusion of marginalised groups, especially communities living with or adjacent to these species, and the in the role and influence of traditional leaders and healers in the wildlife sector. 

As indicated in the report, there have been a range of processes over the years that have not been properly implemented, and have resulted in the compromised position that the sector is in.  This time I intend that we will act differently.  I have instructed the Department to develop an implementation plan for the recommendations. 

Work has already begun on a draft Policy Position that covers key policy implications of the recommendations, which will shortly be published for public participation. The Department is also initiating a process to develop a draft White Paper on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable use for consultation.  The more administrative process required by the recommendations are all being taken up the Department, and I have emphasised to all the Department that the need for full consultation with both the public and as well as with colleagues in government. 

Apart from releasing the report of the Panel today, we are also putting in place a programme of stakeholder feedback session to give feedback on the findings and recommendations to those stakeholders who made submissions and also those with an interest in the Panel’s work. 

A number of Members of WAPFSA played an important role and gave evidence in Parliament at the aforementioned Colloquium held in 2018.  A number of Members of WAPFSA made written submissions to the High-Level Panel, a number of Members of WAPFSA made oral submissions to the High-Level Panel and some Members were quoted in the Report.

Despite the Minister’s assurances for a transparent and inclusive participation process for the development of such policies, the Department has included only two members from WAPFSA who have been invited to attend a called: Workshop on Reimagining Protected Areas and Transformation on the Biodiversity Sector. 

Not a single Member of WAPFSA was asked to make a presentation at this workshop, even though some were identified by the Department as being critical stakeholders in this important area of work.

Members of WAPFSA have written to the office of the Director General of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to ask for clarity on this subject matter but have to date have received no response. 

As a result Members of WAPFSA have written to Minister Creecy today asking for an urgent explanation.  

PLEASE READ THE FULL LETTER HERE:

© 2021 WAPFSA. All rights reserved

A VICIOUS CYCLE THE REPORT WRITTEN BY WAPFSA MEMBER FOUR PAWS

WILDLIFE ANIMAL FORUM SOUTH AFRICA ADDRESSES:

His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environmet, Honourable Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize, Minister of Health, Honourable Minster  Minister of Employment and Labour, Honourable Minister Thokozile Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Developement (DALRRD), Honourable Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi- Ngubane Minister of Tourism, CEO, South African Human Rights Commission, Adv. Tseliso Thipanyane, Secretary General, Congress of South African Trade Unions, Bheki Ntshalintshali, Director, Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, CITES Secretariat

21ST APRIL 2021

HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS IN THE CAPTIVE BIG CAT INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA 

OPEN LETTER

The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA) is an alliance of diverse South African based organisations that share certain values, knowledge and objectives and that collectively comprise a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, legal, welfare, rights, social and climate justice, indigenous paradigm and public advocacy sectors.

WAPFSA would like to bring to your attention a Report entitled The Vicious Cycle and published by one of our members, Four Paws.

The Vicious Cycle reveals human rights concerns within South Africa’s captive big cat sector. This industry utilises captive big cats for interactions with humans, trophy hunting and the export lion bone trade to Asia.

The Four Paws report highlights the immense suffering of these big cats, showcasing the poor hygiene protocols that are in place at these breeding facilities. Whilst there have been other reports published about this controversial and exploitative industry, Four Paws has specifically highlighted the conditions that the workers in this largely unregulated industry are subjected too.

In light of this report, the undersigned members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum are calling for a Presidential investigation into all aspects of South Africa’s captive big cat industry.

Attached please find a copy of the Report.

UMSIZI UMKOMMAS VERVET MONKEY RESCUE

WAPFSA OFFICIAL OPEN LETTER TO NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SPCAs

ADDRESSED TO:

Mr Douglas Wolhuter, Manager, Wildlife Protection Unit

Meg Wilson, Public Relations

Tuesday 6th April 2021

On the 30th of March 2021 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife published the following statement on social media: 

On Monday, 29th March 2021 various divisions of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (Ezemvelo), working together with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) successfully seized close to 100 Vervet Monkeys that were illegally kept in Umsizi Umkomaas Vervet Monkey Rescue Centre.
The Owner was charged with breaking two sections of Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974.  The two sections that she failed to adhere to are:
• Section 80 (1) of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974 which states that “No person shall keep in captivity any indigenous mammal or exotic mammal, except in terms of a permit granted under subsection 2 of section 84 and in accordance with the conditions, if any, imposed under subsection (3) of that section.”
• Section 213 (4B) which states that “ Any person who fails to comply with any lawful demand made by any Officer or honorary Officer under this Ordinance, or wilfully gives any false or misleading information in pursuance of such demand shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred rand, or in default payment, to imprisonment for any term exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The owner of Umsizi Vervet Monkeys Rescue Centre had been given 21 days’ notice on 4th February 2021 to remove the monkeys. She was charged yesterday and was given a R1500 fine.
All vervet monkeys removed by Ezemvelo Game Capture Unit will be disposed of in accordance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Guidelines for the Placement of Confiscated Animals. These guidelines include

• returning confiscated animals to the wild;
• returning confiscated animals in captivity and
• Euthanasia.
The Consulting team that assisted in confiscating all monkeys, first walked around the property viewing all occupied outdoor enclosures which each housed between 5 to approximately 30 individual Vervet Monkeys. The monkeys were kept in five different enclosures.
In one enclosure next to the kitchen, there were multiple monkeys housed in an extremely small (3.5m x 2m) and dark outdoor area with no sun availability and no perches (except for one beam which was attached to broken and rusting steel mesh). The walls and floors were covered in old faecal matter and had to be swept out by the consulting team before catching could begin.
The SPCA began catching in the second enclosure, netting a few individuals, but the consulting team took over. The floor was covered in sludge and faecal matter with the team having to clean their boots multiple times in order to prevent slipping while catching.
The team noticed a male which was looking lethargic and caught him up immediately and boxed him as an individual. Whilst the rest of the catching was done, this male was monitored throughout. Catching was particularly difficult in this enclosure as multiple areas of roofing were rusted and damaged as well as having broken mesh in and around the enclosure.
The 4th enclosure housed 6 individuals. This enclosure showed the most obvious health and safety concerns. Large nails were sticking out of the walls, rotting roofing and broken floor boards allowed for monkeys to hide in these unsanitary, unsafe areas. One monkey caught its cheek on an exposed nail which created a small superficial cut along its cheek. These monkeys were boxed together.
Each troop other than the smaller groups were split into 2 large boxes with a capacity between 6 and 10 individuals. The boxes are 1.5m x 1.2m x 1m with a steel frame as to ensure the safety of the monkeys while being transported.
Dr. Roy Jones, who is Ezemvelo’s District Conservation Manager – Ethekwini has expressed his appreciation to SPCA and all officials involved in the rescue of these monkeys and further warned that Ezemvelo will continue to confiscate animals that are kept without official permit.

IMAGE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA POST:

At the time of writing this letter, the post on Facebook had received 735 comments the majority of which were not complimentary towards Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the SPCA or the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

In light of the SPCA objective and mission which is to serve and protect all animals, to uplift their welfare and to ensure that the protection they have under South African law is upheld and respected, to prevent cruelty and promote the welfare of all animals, whilst our vision is to end animal cruelty in South Africa and engender compassion for animals the members of WAPFSA would appreciate an urgent response to this letter to confirm where the nearly 100 vervet monkeys seized during the aforementioned raid are being held at present. 

WAPFSA consists of an alliance of diverse South African organisations and individuals that share certain values, knowledge and objectives that collectively comprise of a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, legal, animal rights, tourism, social justice and public advocacy sectors.

Whilst WAPFSA members appreciate the fact that the SPCA cannot comment on the on-going matter that is being heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on behalf of the owner of the Umzizi Umkomaas Vervet Rescue Centre.  The raid was apparently illegal because it was carried out without a warrant.  

Our concern is for the well-being of the vervet monkeys whilst the outcome of the high-court matter is being determined. 

WAPFSA members would however like to be advised if the NSPCA will be  investigating what transpired during the aforementioned raid and what exactly happened to the confiscated vervet monkeys?  

Will the NSPCA be pursuing charges against the organisations and or individuals involved with regard to the Animal Protection Act?  Will the NSPCA therefore investigate the SPCA branch that was present and active during this raid?

WAPFSA members would, in particular, like the following questions answered:

  1. A number of the captured monkeys were physically and mentally challenged, were special precautions taken to make sure these monkeys received adequate care during the confiscation process?
  2. Were the monkeys unnecessarily terrified during the capture process?
  3. Did one of the monkeys die during the capture process?
  4. Where were the monkeys transported to? What was the distance covered between the capture site and the release site? 
  5. How many monkeys died during the transportation from stress and/or heat exhaustion?
  6. At the “release” site, were a number of monkeys shot? 
  7. Who gave the order to exterminate these monkeys?
  8. Were they shot in their cages?
  9. Were the monkeys in individual cages?
  10. How many shots were fired in total?
  11. How many monkeys survived and where are these monkeys being held?

The undersigned members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA) look forward to receiving a timely explanation and answers to our important and relevant questions.

Yours faithfully, Megan Carr and Steve Smith

Megan Carr Founder Rhinos in Africa

Steve Smith Co-Founder Monkey Helpline

Dave du Toit Founder Vervet Monkey Foundation

Samantha Dewhirst Director Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education

Jenni Trethowan Founder Baboon Matters

Lorraine Holloway Director Baboons of the South

Smaragda Louw Director Ban Animal Trading

Michele Pickover Director EMS Foundation

Stefania Falcon Founder Future 4 Wildlife South Africa

Toni Brockhoven Chairperson Beauty Without Cruelty

Wynter Worsthorne Founder Animal Talk Africa

Sairusha Govindsamy Founder Africa Climate Alliance

Stephen Fritz Chief South Peninsula Khoi Council

Jabu Myeni Founder Gifted for Good

Linda Tucker CEO Founder Global White Lion Protection Trust

Les Mitchell Director Institute for Critical Animal Studies Africa

Kim Da Ribeira Director OSCAP

Vivien Law Parliament for the People

Lex Abnett Director Southern African Fight for Rhinos

Sera Farista Youth Climate Group

Guy Jennings Director WildAid Southern Africa

Fiona Miles Director Four Paws South Africa

Image Credit: Tracy Rowles Umsizi Umkomaas Vervet Rescue Centre

© 2021 WAPFSA. All rights reserved

WAPFSA CALLS FOR URGENT MORATORIUM TO REVISE GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF BABOONS IN THE WESTERN CAPE

OPEN LETTER

WAPFSA CALLS FOR A MORATORIUM AND A WORKSHOP TO REVISE OUTDATED, INEFFECTIVE, UNETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF BABOONS IN THE WESTERN CAPE

Mr Anton Bredell The Honourable Minister of Local Government Environment Affairs and Development Planning

Dr Baard Cape Nature

Liezl de Villiers Senior Environmental Management Section Overstrand Municipality

25th August 2020,

Honourable Minister Bredell,

The undersigned organizations are part of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA), an alliance of diverse South African NGOs that share certain values, knowledge and objectives and that collectively comprise a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, legal, welfare, rights, tourism, social justice and public advocacy sectors.

Continue reading “WAPFSA CALLS FOR URGENT MORATORIUM TO REVISE GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF BABOONS IN THE WESTERN CAPE”

THE SUBMISSION BY THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA IN RESPECT OF THE DEFF HIGH LEVEL PANEL

SUBMITTED ON THE 15TH JUNE 2020

The submission relates to the Management, Breeding, Hunting, Trade, Handling and Related matters to the Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros.

Disclaimers

Please note that this Submission is non-exhaustive and does not represent all the responses to the issues and matters raised herein. We reserve the right to provide any further or additional information on aspects raised herein.

We are submitting so as to be able to record our initial high-level views and resources; however, our Submission is by no means a complete one in relation to the topics, objections or matters that may be raised.

We wish to note upfront that we believe there are various issues with the contents, processes, and related matters in respect of the Panel generally, as well as the Call for Submission. Consequently, our Submission does not constitute a waiver of any rights we may have, including but not limited to challenging the Department, the High-Level Panel/ Advisory Committee or otherwise, or take any other action we deem fit in respect thereof.

Specifically, we believe that insufficient time and notice has been provided for us to provide complete comments. The entire process on this Call for Submissions has been done during a declared National State of Disaster and lockdown of the country. During this time, particularly as NGOs, we have experienced major strain on our resources and capacity to deal with matters.

The views expressed herein are those of the two organisations and do not necessarily represent those of every individual director, member, employee, representative, volunteer, affiliate or others of either EMS and/or ALRSA.

We have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible, given the time, resources and other relevant factors and constraints, however we may not have responded or included each and every relevant consideration. Accordingly, it should be noted that different persons have provided input and we have tried within these constraints to collate this input as effectively, consistently, and practicably as possible.

We have further attempted to reference as footnotes or hyperlink the resources relied upon for this submission. Should you require any further information in respect of these or the Submission more generally, we are happy to provide these.

We reserve any and all rights, remedies and actions available to us.

©2020 Wildlife Animal Protection Forum. All rights reserved.

THE WILDLIFE ANIMAL PROTECTION FORUM SOUTH AFRICA

FOUNDING DOCUMENT

As Founding Members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA) we, the undersigned South African organisations, resolve to adopt this statement of purpose, objects, and operational principles.

BACKGROUND

The WAPFSA was initiated in 2017 as a collaborative network representing the interests of wild animals and as a vehicle to engage government on animal protection, ethical and compassionate conservation, welfare and biodiversity loss issues amongst others.

OUR WORK

The WAPFSA provides a framework for cooperation and networking among non-governmental organisations in South Africa. Through such cooperation, animal protection, environmental, conservation, and other like-minded organisations can present, to the various government agencies and other relevant bodies, a strong, clear and informed common position.

Our collaboration involves, but is not limited to, the following main categories: advocacy, outreach, research, enforcement, investigation, monitoring, litigation and training.

PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT TO READ THE ENTIRE FOUNDING STATEMENT

TEEPSA 5/6/7 THE WILDLIFE ANIMAL PROTECTION FORUM SOUTH AFRICA MEMBERS SUBMISSION

Monday 4th July 2022

Following the release of the draft scoping report for a 30 day comment period on the 20th May 2022, SLR Consulting received several requests for an extension of the comment period on the Draft Scoping Report. Members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum submitted comments today.

TotalEnergies Exploration & Production South Africa (TEEPSA) and its Joint Venture partners invited consultation with interested and affected parties with regard to their proposal to undertake exploratory well drilling in Blocks 5/6/7 a 10 000 square kilometre area between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas.

COPY OF WAPFSA SUBMISSION:

TOTALENERGIES – ESIA FOR PROPOSED EXPLORATION DRILLINGS IN BLOCK 5/6/7

The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA) is an alliance of South African based organisations which share certain values, knowledge and objectives and which collectively comprise a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, legal, welfare, rights, social and climate justice, public advocacy sectors.

WAPFSA has registered as an I&AP.

COMMENTS

1. Meaningful Consultation

The undersigning members of WAPFSA believe that the communities living in highly populated areas of the South Western Coast must be meaningfully consulted about the proposed perspective operations which may impact upon their customary rights, which include customary fishing rights and livelihoods. The ocean is also integral to the Khoisan community’s cultural identity and customary system.

These communities should have been engaged with in person (they don`t read national newspapers and cannot be consulted via virtual meetings, nor would they have the opportunity to travel to Cape Town in order to  attend an in-person meeting, such as the meeting which was held in Cape Town on the 9th of June, on a working day at 4h00 pm). 

The TEEPSA project has, in our view, been poorly advertised and the subsequent communication by SLR Consulting has in our experience been inadequate.  

Indigenous communities have strict rules about consultation that emphasise the importance of seeking consensus within the whole community. In the High Court Judgement: Sustaining the Wild Coast NPC vs MRE, Shell Explorations, Case No. 3491/2021 of 28 Dec 2021, it is noted: 

[26]       ‘Meaningful consultation entails providing communities with the necessary information on the proposed activities and affording them an opportunity to make informed representations’. 

WAPFSA members believe that TEEPSA-567 had a duty to meaningfully consult with the communities and individuals who could be impacted by this project.

2. Climate Change

“Ignoring climate change will yield ‘untold suffering,” a panel of 14,000 scientists warned in July 2021, calling for urgent global deal on climate policies[1]. We have reasonable apprehension for irreparable harm on residents and the environment, resulting by both drilling and extracting operations.  

In  May 2022, a Report from the United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNODRR), warned of ‘Total Societal Collapse’ due to breaching of planetary boundaries. The Report is GAR 2022 and was endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The report indicated that escalating synergies between disasters, economic vulnerabilities and ecosystem failures are escalating the risk of “global collapse”. For the very first time, the UN has openly flagged that existing global policies are accelerating toward the collapse of human civilisation. 

3. Predicted Impacts, Potential Harm and Risks

We are particularly concerned about all the predicted and unpredicted impacts and risks on people, their businesses and livelihoods and on wildlife and the environment. 

Drilling discharges and normal discharges such as deck drainage, machinery space drainage, sewage and galley wastes from the drilling unit and support vessels will all result in reduction of water quality in the area. Water quality will also be impacted at both local and regional levels due to accidental oil spills during the exploration drilling or in the event of a blow-out. These spills will have adverse effects on marine fauna and will also result in the oiling of coastal habitats and seabirds.

WAPFSA members are concerned about the migration of about 130.000 whales from East Africa trough the prospected areas, towards the Cape where they breed and nurse their young. Concerns also refer to the interference with many delicate species as Turtles, Cape Fur Seals, African Penguins and the Black Oystercatcher. 

These species all stand to be negatively affected by the proposed well drilling, irrespective of whether the project area avoids all MPAs. The fact that the project has even a 5,4% overlap with Critical Biodiversity Areas is a cause for concern as the physiological, mental and emotional effects of the drilling has been seen to cause negative impacts varying in severity, the most severe resulting in death of a variety of marine faunal species. 

In terms of the benthic habitats which might be affected, of the marine species, 98% live on or in the ocean floor[2]. These benthos or bottom dwellers can live buried in the sand, shells or mud or attached to rocks. Sedentary benthic species and other relatively immobile species will experience smothering and biochemical effects, such as direct toxicity and bioaccumulation of the discharge of cuttings, drilling fluid and cement during the well drilling process. The benthic zone maintains a substantial part of the world’s biodiversity. These areas are extensively exploited and destroyed by human activities[3].


[1] Ignoring climate change will yield ‘untold suffering,’ panel of 14,000 scientists warns | Live Science

[2] Thurman, 1991

[3] Investigating the effects of mobile bottom fishing on benthic biota: a systematic review protocol | Environmental Evidence | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)