Govt lifts hunting safari ban

GOVERNMENT has with immediate effect lifted the suspension of hunting safaris in 19 game blocs, says Tourism minister Jean Kapata.

Ms Kapata however said the ban on hunting lions and other cats would remain in force until a survey to ascertain their numbers was undertaken.

The suspension of hunting safari was imposed by the then Tourism minister Sylvia Masebo more than one and half years ago.

Ms Kapata said in order to avoid erosion of ownership of animals in local communities and reduction of vigilance which could result in a worsened poaching situation, government had to revisit the position on hunting.

“In this regard and as minister  entrusted with policing the management of our wildlife resources, I hereby announce that the suspension of safari hunting has been lifted,” she said.

She said during the period the suspension the  Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) lost huge sums of money and that it was one of the reasons why the ministry has decided to lift the ban so that the authority was able to sustain its operations.

Ms Kapata said to ensure that sanity in wildlife safari hunting management, a decentralized hunting monitoring system with  teams at all levels would be put in place to ensure that all hunting was done in accordance with approved procedures and ethics.

The minister said animals involved in human-wildlife conflict would be allocated to safari outfitters to maximize revenue earnings.

“It must be noted that hunting of all animals, including rogues ones, has a cost attached to it, a price will be set on each rogue animal that requires to be hunted and killed,” she said.

Ms Kapata, however, said her ministry would soon come up with its position regarding the hunting block concession tender by ZAWA.

She said hunting of animals for traditional ceremonies would be allowed in the respective chiefdoms.

She said the quota- setting roadmap should be adhered to and quotas would be advised by ZAWA by December each year.

Ms Kapata said chiefdoms with sufficient stocks of animals applying for special licences might be positively considered as  special cases.

She said animals on special licenses would be paid for by all except for educational institutions for research purpose and other uses.

These would attract a lower feel than that applicable to commercial hunters effective January 1, next year.

Ms Kapata said all remains of wild animals including bones should be surrendered to or disposed of under supervision of ZAWA.