predators. This proposal met with no interest, the farmers saying that herding the animals into a safe camp at night would cause erosion in that vicinity. Again, I do not find this reason convincing. Erosion occurs around drinking points, but farmers do not stop giving water to livestock.
3. ‘Soft’ gin traps. Another suggestion was for farmers to surrender their awful old gin traps for somewhat less barbaric, ‘soft’ traps, which are not quite so bone breaking – if adjusted and used correctly – and monitored every day! I do not know why the Forum could not at least find consensus on this, at least as an interim measure. I do not believe that this is an ethical alternative, especially since we know that existing traps are not monitored every day. Every type of trap requires rigorous monitoring, and farmers have other tasks to do.
4. Anatolian sheep dogs and other guard animals. Some farmers use these with reportedly good results, but there are only one hundred of these dogs working, and there are sixteen hundred wool farmers alone in the Western Cape. Ostriches were not mentioned though we have seen how aggressive ostriches are with predators.
The farmers believe that a para-military lethal onslaught on problem animals was the only possible solution – despite al
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