News / South Africa / Crime

Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
20 Oct 2021
8:15 am

Agricultural union pleads with police to help farmers stop illegal hunting

Citizen Reporter

The only way to quell the surge in illegal hunting is to have police support farmers affected by the ruthless practice, TLU SA said.

Dogs are cruel hunters, and snatch chunks of meat from live prey, until the animal is so weakened by pain that he can no longer flee. Picture for illustration: iStock

Livestock and game farmers are under siege and can no longer keep up with the amount of illegal hunting taking place on their property. 

This according to the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TLU SA), with Free State chairperson Bertus van der Westhuizen calling for sterner action from police and farmers. 

Van der Westhuizen said in a statement that illegal hunting is conducted using dogs, who “snatch chunks of meat from live prey until the animal is so weakened by pain that he can no longer flee”.

When the hunters find the animal, they often finish it off with axes. 

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“No farmer sees this way of hunting as a sport or entertainment and will certainly resort to controlled violence to protect his animals from this practice,” he warned. 

In addition to hunting illegally on private property, species such as the steenbok are under threat on farms.

The wildlife and tourism industry are at risk of being affected should illegal hunting continue unabated, Van der Westhuizen said. 

The only way to quell the surge in illegal hunting is to have police support farmers affected by the ruthless practice. 

Van der Westhuizen has appealed for police to assist farmers in their fight againast this crime, and to view it in a more serious light than it is currently being handled. 

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“There is great potential for conflict in this crime. Not only conflict between communities, but also between farmers and the police themselves.

“TLU SA Free State appeals not only to our members, but to farmers from across the country not to allow this type of crime on their land and to fight it within the rules of law.”

In the meantime, Van der Westhuizen suggested that farmers keep a record of the date and time that illegal hunting activity takes place on their property, as well as how long it takes police to assist them, and the police office in question’s name. 

“No farmer can allow his animals to be wiped out in this cruel way.”

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Compiled by Nica Richards