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Hunting of animals is a cruel practice

Lowveld SPCA as all others are opposed to the hunting of animals.

Lowveld SPCA trainee inspector, Julie Loots writes:

The following comments come from the operations manual and fall within the SPACA’s statement and belief.

Lowveld SPCA as all others are opposed to the hunting of animals.

The council does not believe that sport justifies causing animals to suffer and therefore is opposed to the hunting or fishing of any animals for sport, recreation or entertainment.

The council accepts that a “clean kill” may be the intention of persons shooting for sport, but this often does not happen and that suffering occurs. Various weapons are utilised for hunting wild animals. The council opposes the use of air weapons and bows.

They are both lethal and while it is recognised that under certain circumstances they can be used to kill humanely, it is also a fact that the lack of adequate controls on the manufacture, sale and use leads to considerable animal suffering.

• Bow hunting – Although the bow in itself can be effective, is a skill that must be maintained. This type of dedication to the sport is not found in most hunters and therefore a clean kill cannot always be guaranteed.

• Air weapons – these are used indiscriminately against many urban and domesticated wildlife.

The main reason for this is the deregulation of the sale thereof.

These weapons at best can maim and terrify animals as they are not effective. Children are often permitted, if not encouraged, by their parents to use them, very often without supervision – yet another example of violent behaviour being instilled in our youth.

• Green hunting – the effects of repeated tranquillisation on an animal are unknown in that the levels of trauma and consequences on social behaviour cannot be efficiently measured.

The possibility of an animal injuring or killing itself during the period in which drugs are taking effect is real as it cannot be effectively moved away from danger.

The position in which it goes down can also cause injury, damage to the internal organs and death through asphyxiation. The threat of injury or death is therefore significant.

The practice of green hunting can only be considered abhorrent. The ethics of people who participate in this must be questioned as much as those who offer this kind of service. The NSPCA opposes the practice thereof.

• Hunting with dogs – the council is as concerned with the welfare of the prey as it is with the predator and the non-target species. Hunting dogs are not pets and are almost always incarcerated/kennelled when not hunting, often under suboptimal conditions.

The manner in which dogs hunt, catch and maul animals without killing them outright causes immense pain and suffering before death.

This also results in serious injuries often being inflicted on the dog.

They are opportunists and non-target species are often dispatched; even if the dogs are called off, the prey suffers the effects of stress myopathy and injuries.

Hunting using packs is not limited to African tradition. Farmers traditionally utilise dog packs – mostly hounds and terriers – to eradicate predators.

Although awareness has brought about some change in the manner in which stock is protected, dogs are still widely used.

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