RIPPING THE HEART OUT OF CONSERVATION
Small livestock farmers have complained that their livelihoods are threatened by stock losses caused by predators, mainly caracals and jackals. They say that their only defence is to launch a predator extermination program.
Conservationist respond by pointing out:
1. That the farmers’ refusal to employ herders or to kraal their animals at night is the real cause of stock losses. Poor animal husbandry is to blame. Farmers throw their sheep out into the mouths of predators, leaving them unprotected day and night out in the veld.
2. Extermination of wildlife will not solve the farmers’ problems. These methods have all been tried before and have failed. The report by Professor Bothma, commissioned by Cape Nature, examined the infamous “Oranjejag” where a similar predator elimination campaign was conducted in the Free State. That slaughter by hunt clubs over a period of years killed 87,000+ wild animals - of which more than 60,000 were harmless non-target species, such as Cape Foxes.
3. Bothma points out that more jackals and caracal