Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting in plan to ‘manage population’

Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting in plan to 'manage population'

The ban was imposed in 2014 (Picture: Getty Images)Botswana, home to almost a third of Africa’s elephants, has lifted its ban on big game hunting.
It is thought the southern African country has around 130,000 elephants, but lawmakers say the number is much higher.
They claim this causes problems for small-scale farmers living and working in the area.
The Environment Ministry say the government will make sure the ‘reinstatement of hunting is done in an orderly and ethical manner’, in accordance with the law and regulations.
But it is likely the subject will spark further debate in the country, with critics arguing that it could harm the population of elephants and damage tourism.

They have been known to damage farmers’ crops (Picture: Getty Images)The number of elephants in Botswana has almost tripled since 1991, causing conflict with farmers who say the animals destroy their crops.
Elephants have also been known to tear down trees, harming the ecosystem and sometimes even killing villagers.
Very young boys seen driving stolen off-roaders along busy freewayReports claim that hunting won’t meaningfully reduce the number of elephants, but income from the sport could benefit communities in areas where the animals live.
Where the practice is legal, the average elephant hunt costs upwards of £30,000.
But former President Ian Khama said the move would instead damage tourism, which accounts for a fifth of the country’s economy, Bloomberg reports.

The decision is likely to spark debate (Picture: Getty Images)He said the real motivation behind the lifted ban was to win rural votes in the upcoming October election.
Mr Khama imposed the ban in 2014, in response to declining wildlife populations.
The committee recommended in February that Botswana consider allowing big game hunting again.
They said the change in law would ‘enable the growth of a safari hunting industry and manage the country’s elephant population within the historic range’.


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