Two men accused of contravening the Western Cape Nature Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974 and the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962 are set to appear in the George Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 5 October 2015.
On 29 September 2015 CapeNature’s Garden Route Conservation Services office received information from the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) regarding the killing of baboons at Step-Aside Centre in Blanco, George.
CapeNature officials thereafter launched an investigation and visited the scene. Information obtained during the investigation showed that two suspects were implicated in the illegal capture and killing of a young male baboon by use of a machete.
Contravention of the Animal Protection Act is being investigated as there are indications that the baboon suffered a long time before death.
CapeNature is being assisted in the investigation by the South African Police Service’s Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit in Oudtshoorn.
Legal Status of Baboons
The hunting of wild animals is regulated in terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974 as amended, as well as the Hunting Notice that is promulgated annually. In terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance, animals are protected if they are listed in Schedule 2 to the Ordinance or in Appendix II of CITES. Baboons are not listed in Schedule 2 of the Ordinance, but are listed in Appendix II of CITES. Therefore, they are classified protected wild animals in the Western Cape. This term “protected” has been much misunderstood and needs some unpacking. In this context, “protected” means that persons may only hunt a protected animal if they comply with the following conditions:
i. Hold a valid hunting licence;
ii. Are hunting on their own property or have the explicit written consent of the landowner on whose property the hunt occurs; and
iii. Are hunting in terms of the Hunting Notice as issued annually by CapeNature.
It is also important to mention the provisions of Section 29 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance. Section 29(f) for example prevents the hunting without a permit of baboons within a public place in the area of jurisdiction of a local authority. Therefore the provisions of section 29 further regulates the hunting/management of baboons in the Western Cape requiring the applicant to apply for permits to use a trap cage in terms of section 29(d), within a public place in terms of section 29(f), and even apply the use of a paintball gun as a deterrent method in terms of section 29(h). The landowner should also ensure that they comply with the provisions of national legislation such as the Fire Arms Control Act, as well as other relevant legislation when implementing the provisions of the Ordinance.