South Africa

Court blocks Department of Environment’s trophy hunting quotas – for now

  • Trophy hunting quotas have been suspended in SA after a High Court interdict was granted against the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Black rhinos, leopards and elephants cannot be hunted for trophies until a final ruling is made on the case
  • Investigative journalist Don Pinnock says the world is watching to see what the final judgment will be in this potentially precedent-setting case

The Western Cape High Court has temporarily blocked the issuing of quotas to hunt 10 leopards, 10 black rhinos, and 150 elephants.

This comes after the Humane Society International filed a court interdict to stop the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) from issuing the trophy hunting quotas.

In February, the department announced that a total of 10 leopards, 10 black rhino, and 150 elephants were earmarked for trophy hunters this year.

Investigative journalist Don Pinnock says the High Court has provisionally agreed that the quotas are invalid and unlawful.

RELATED: Local conservation NGO 'disgusted' by Enviro Dept's new trophy hunting quotas

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The final judgment in the matter will be decided in the second part of the case, Pinnock explains.

For the time being, no quotas may be issued by Environment Minister Barbara Creecy.

Pinnock says this is a massive case that has the potential to set a precedent on the blocking of trophy hunting in South Africa.

RELATED: Government proposals for elephant, leopard and rhinos trophy hunting under fire

Part of the issue is that the quota for last year was suspended and the minister tried to roll it forward into this year and that's part of what was suspended by the court.

Don Pinnock, Investigative journalist and photographer

The court interdict that was upheld is a very important thing. It doesn't mean that it's all going to stop… but the interdict stands until a review can happen.

Don Pinnock, Investigative journalist and photographer

The department can't issue quotas to hunt the three species, they may not publish quotas in the government gazette and they are not permitted to export those trophies.

Don Pinnock, Investigative journalist and photographer

Hunters will pay a huge amount for black rhinos because they are rare, well they are going extinct.

Don Pinnock, Investigative journalist and photographer

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Court blocks Department of Environment's trophy hunting quotas – for now

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