“Hunting can play a very important role in protecting the environment and true, pure hunting always will ensure protection of wildlife”, President of the Namibia Professional Hunters Association (NAPHA), Kai -Uwe Denker, said during a presentation prior to the opening of the hunting season on May 1st. Denker said, in a superficial approach the non-hunting section of the conservation community often tries to blame hunting for the decrease in wildlife populations. Some 40 ago several institutions involved in nature conservation realised that a ban on hunting did not have the desired effect in protecting animals, and their natural environment. Denker said the true reasons for the disappearance of species are intensive agriculture, air- and water pollution, roads and road traffic, urbanisation and regulation of streams and rivers, destruction of natural habitats.
“Namibia is a speaking example of the huge positive results of the concept of sustainable use of natural resources,” Denker observed adding that the trophy hunting industry creates jobs and foreign currency is thereby generated. Although there is a global trend, a global concern to protect the natural environment, this movement is to a considerable extent based on superficial perceptions, because the majority of the human population on earth is detached from nature to such an extent, that many a false conclusion is made.
“Hunting is a very important aspect not only in nature conservation, but also in the self-examination of humankind. Hunting is an age-old human activity, only hunting has enabled the survival of the human species, there is nothing strange or perverted about somebody being a hunter, as some people nowadays often want to have it. The pronounced hunting instincts and hunting qualities of our ancestors laid the foundation to all human culture. We have to realize that such an important aspect of the human evolution is deeply embedded in the human instincts. However, we hunters also very clearly state that we feel that hunting should be conducted according to very strict legal regulations, ethical behaviour and in circumspection,” he noted. NAPHA therefore, has strict ethical guidelines and a Disciplinary Committee to enforce these.
“If you remove natural predators and drought-mortality-factors, they will be replaced by disease, if you succeed in combating one disease, it will be replaced by another disease. That is a fundamental law of nature. Hunting is nothing but an original way of life. A large proportion of the human population on earth has completely lost all comprehension of natural connotations, yet feels a great urge to protect the last fractions of unspoiled nature. Regulated trophy hunting via the principle of sustainable use can play a hugely important role in this. And tourist-hunting is a way of learning the very basics of nature in its purest form. It is the purest form of eco-tourism,” Denker maintained.
The unethical things in hunting are mainly stimulated by the money involved. Circumspect, selective hunting is conservation. The major reasons for the disappearance of species are intensive agriculture – not regulated trophy hunting. This applies mainly to industrialised countries where intensive agriculture and the use of pesticides and fertilisers destroy important links in the natural food chain, and result in large-scale extinctions of species. But it also applies to big game in Namibia.
Hunting ethics are a yardstick of human quality. We don’t own wild animals; they are free creatures living a natural life. “Ethical hunting, these moral standards of humanity kindled through awareness and compassion in dealing with nature and wild animals, while still accepting nature’s laws, is of immense value to humanity. This knowledge keeps the qualities of rejuvenation alive within humanity, as opposed to the very likely self-destruction of humanity by the selfish disregard of the everlasting laws of life,” he concluded.
Author: Deon Schlechter, New Era Publication Corporation