A Hunter’s Paradise

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Trophy hunting in Namibia continues to record an annual growth of 20 percent, making it the fastest growing and lucrative area in the country’s tourism sector. Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Leon Jooste, reveals in an interview that trophy hunting has become one of the exciting ventures for the ministry as well as for participants. He says trophy hunting entails “hunting for trophies” and this can refer to horns, tusks and animal skins. Such hunting must take place under the supervision of a registered guide. This according to the Deputy Minister is one of the effective ways to get rid of old animals that have passed their breeding age. Measures are in place to ensure that undersized trophies are not taken. Currently, Namibia has 55 professional hunters with big game qualifications, 195 normal professional hunters, 232 master hunting guides and 187 hunting guides. In addition, there are 94 registered hunting farms and 19 registered conservancies where trophy hunting takes place. “Trophy hunting is well-regulated and trophy hunting guides go through stringent examinations before they get registered,” assures Jooste. This year, the hunting season as announced by Cabinet runs from 1 February to 30 November for re-gistered game proof fenced farms and conservancies. Farms with normal stock proof fences started operating from the 1st of June until the 31st of July. “The Ministry would like to appeal to all the stakeholders to respect the law and not abuse this privilege during this hunting season. Show respect to nature and apply ethical practices.” Jooste further begs hunters to apply the principle of sustainable utilisation at all times. Namibia annually receives close to 6000 foreign trophy hunters and each hunter spends about