Historic first for predation management in South Africa!
A single document containing detailed and current insight and knowledge into the complex situation of predation management has been finalised and was launched at the Nelson Mandela University on 16 November 2018.
In this historic first (nationally and globally), the Scientific Assessment for Livestock Predation and its Management in South Africa will form the basis for contemplating policy development. It will also strengthen Government’s resolve to develop evidence-based policy and to recognise that in many complex situations, such as where there is predation on livestock, there is no silver-bullet solution. The partnership of Government, industry, stakeholders and leading researchers emerged to resource and formulate the Scientific Assessment and shows a strong commitment to address the conflicts around livestock predation management. During this event, Prof. Graham Kerley of the Nelson Mandela University provided an overview of the assessment and felt confident that the document will contribute towards reducing conflict and sustaining both agricultural production and biodiversity. Sipiwo Makinana, who represented the wool industry, highlighted the plights of emerging livestock farmers on predation and acknowledged the outcome of the assessment that commercial and communal livestock farmers face similar predation challenges.
Guillau du Toit, chairman of the Predation Management Forum (PMF) welcomed the assessment. He referred to the chapter on policy and recommendations to Government as the most essential part of the study, as regulations and legislation, which impact the production practices of livestock and wildlife ranching producers, need an overhaul. He thanked Prof. Kerley and his team for the inclusivity of the process and the involvement of a magnitude of researchers, authors and reviewers. The implications of the findings for Government were welcomed by both the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Mr Joe Kgobokoe, representing DAFF, and Ms Mancotywa from DEA acknowledged the requirement of both a strategic national research programme to provide evidence for policy development, as well as closer cooperation between policy developers, livestock managers/farmers and researchers. This assesment is aimed at helping agricultural and conservation policymakers and managers to arrive at improved approaches for reducing livestock predation, while at the same time contributing to the conservation of our natural predators. The PMF would like to thank all the role players who helped to make the publication possible.