July 2020 Newsletter

The July 2020 newsletter looks at the practice of taxi hunting or what is commonly known as "illegal large-scale hunting with dogs".  Predation specialist Niel Viljoen's 12 years experience on monitor farms reveals that it provides a good source of advice in predation management.  By constantly evaluating the effectiveness of different management tools, farmers are informed and trained to ensure the survival of their livestock and the farming community as a whole. 

The latest version of "Predation management in South Africa - historical milestones" has been released on the Predation Management Centre website 

Read the July newsletter, sponsored by FARMRanger - www.farmranger.co.za 

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BOERE...... BEWAARDERS EN HOEKSTENE VAN GESONDE BIODIVERSITEIT

Predasiespesialis Niel Viljoen het met die draai van die eeu die dertiende jaar van navorsing en studies op moniteringsplase betree. Wat oorspronklik begin het as eksperimentele plase waar roofdierbestuur en beheermetodes getoets, vergelyk en aangepas is, is hierdie plase toonbeelde van sukses wat baie meer na vore gebring het as net suksesvolle roofdierbestuur.

Hy staan verstom oor boere se integriteit, kennis en passie vir die voortbestaan van hulle bedryf; ook hulle diepe afhanklikheid van en respek vir die stuk aarde waarop hulle ’n bestaan voer. Die samewerkingsooreenkoms en verstandhouding tussen boer en Moeder Natuur is ongelooflik.

 

Biodiversiteit en ons moderne Suid-Afrikaanse boere

Seker die belangrikste doel vir die voortbestaan van alle lewe op aarde is ’n goeie engesonde biodiversiteit. Dit kan eenvoudig opgesom word as biologiese diversiteit, wat ook verskeidenheid beteken, en dit sluit alle vorme van lewe op aarde in: organismes, plante, diere; die hele spektrum van ekostelsels en ekosisteme in alle denkbare geografiese streke van ons planeet. Dit is ’n ineengeweefde, ingewikkelde wisselwerking tussen ’n verskeidenheid van spesies.

Biodiversiteit is Moeder Natuur se goed geoliede masjien om haarself te beskerm, ’n gesonde balans te handhaaf en alle versteurings in enige van haar ekostelsels so spoedig moontlik te identifiseer, te verwerk en weer te balanseer. ’n Gesonde biodiversiteit is die mensdom se kern van oorlewing. Ons daaglikse lewensnoodsaaklike bronne (voedsel, klerasie en water) is direk afhanklik van biodiversiteit. Daarom is dit so belangrik dat ons moderne produseerders (kommersiële boere) nooit biodiversiteit uit die oog mag verloor nie. Onlangse studies in Suid-Afrika het getoon dat biodiversiteit op kommersiële landbougronde baie gesonder is as in sommige van ons parke. Dis ’n pluimpie vir kommersiële produsente.

Die grootste struikelblok vir ’n gesonde biodiversiteit is ongelukkig een van die spesies wat ook deel uitmaak van hierdie totale prentjie van ons planeet: die mensdom, ek en jy.

Net meer as ’n derde van ons planeet se beskikbare grondmassa word vir kommersiële landbou gebruik. Bykans 80% van Suid-Afrika se grond is beskikbaar vir een of ander vorm van landbou. Gegewe hierdie syfers is dit duidelik watter ontsaglike groot rol landbouers speel in die handhawing van ’n goeie en gesonde biodiversiteit.

Moeder Natuur kan haar bes doen vir biodiversiteit, maar met 80% daarvan in die hande van landbouers, mag dit dalk ’n risiko wees, en sy het hulp nodig. Te danke aan mense met ’n passie, goed ingeligte en opgeleide bewaarders en boere, kry Moeder

Natuur meer as haar deel van gesonde biodiversiteit vanaf kommersiële landbou. Wat is hierdie hulpmiddel, die anker wat kommersiële boere in Suid-Afrika gebruik om biodiversiteit ’n hupstoot te gee? Die antwoord is voor-die-hand-liggend: biosekuriteit.  Wat is biosekuriteit? Dit is ’n stel voorkomende voorsorgmaatreëls wat ontwerp word om biologiese bronne te beskerm en die risiko van verspreiding van siektes en peste oor die hele landbousektor, diere, plante en ook die mens in enige vorm te voorkom.  In kort, om my en jou lewensomstandighede te beveilig, te beskerm en te verseker.  Dit is die beskerming van die totale prentjie van gesondheid.

Wat beteken dit vir die landbouer of in hierdie geval, die veeboer?

Absolute risikobeheer en -bestuur op jou plaas en jou werksomgewing. Een van die grootste bedreigings vir biosekuriteit is ongelukkig die mens self, wat in menige geval die draer en/of die verspreider van kieme, parasiete en virusse is. Vir die boer is dit sy veldskoene, voertuie en vragmotors, of die plaaslike veearts, landboukundige, bankbestuurder of buurman wat besoek aflê, wat die skuldige kan wees.

Dit is opmerklik hoe boere die afgelope paar jaar bewus geword het van die beperking en/of vermyding van vreemde bewegings op sekere dele van hulle boerdery.

  1. Elektroniese hekke beperk grotendeels ongewenste toetrede van ongemagtigde persone.
  2. By menige veekrale word ingang tot die kraal geweier en by intensiewe stelsels, soos byvoorbeeld lamhokke en voerkraalstelsels, is dit slegs die persone wat daar werk wat die perseel mag betree. Dan is die was van hande en deurloop by die voetpad ’n vereiste. Die inkoop van vee, hetsy van ander boerderye of veeveilings is seker een van die grootste risiko-areas wat biosekuriteit bedreig. Kwarantynkampe of -krale raak ’n bekende gesig op veeplase. Dit is egter nie net die mens self of sy vee wat biosekuriteit bedreig nie. Daar is nog ’n ander kommerwekkende factor wat baie min of geen aandag kry nie. Wilde trekdiere wat oor plase beweeg en moontlike draers kan wees, is ’n risikofaktor; veral bobbejane, bosvarke, vlakvarke en selfs roofdiere soos rooikatte en jakkalse. Goed geïsoleerde plaasgrense, hetsy met jakkalswerende en/of kragdrade, is ’n aanwins vir biosekuriteit. Die bedreiging vir hierdie sekuriteitsmaatreël is die vernietigende invloed wat bosvarke en vlakvarke daarop het. Die natuurlike deurvloei en selfs verskuiwing van wild bly ook ’n risiko, selfs ten opsigte van dooie diere. Professionele roofdierjagters jag op een plaas, verskuif na ’n ander plaas met die geëlimineerde roofdiere op hulle voertuig en laai dit dan op ’n ander perseel as die oorspronklike af.

Biosekuriteit is boere se verpligte aandeel tot ’n gesonder biodiversiteit, maar boere alleen is nie die enigste rolspelers wat hierdie doel moet help verseker nie. Biosekuriteit vereis ook betrokkenheid en samewerking van wetenskaplikes, beleidmakers en wetstoepassers.

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DRAFT NORMS & STANDARDS ARE GUIDELINES RATHER THAN LEGISLATION

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has finalised draft norms and standards for the management of damage-causing animals in South Africa (DCA N&S), for implementation. These norms and standards have been developed in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA). The minister responsible for the environment may set indicators to measure compliance with the provisions of any norms and standards developed in terms of NEMBA.

However, due to the fact that species such as black-backed jackal and caracal, and methods per se, are not regulated through NEMBA and the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) Regulations, it is not be possible to implement and enforce the provisions of the DCA N&S in a uniform manner. It is for this reason that it was decided at an inter-provincial meeting, that the DCA N&S would be implemented as voluntary guidelines, and not as legislation.

The DEFF will convert the draft DCA N&S to guidelines and make it available through the Predation Management South Africa (PMSA) for further distribution to its member organisations and their members.

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PREDATION FORUM IS NOW A LEGAL ENTITY

One of the outcomes of the Predation Workshop held in February 2019 in Port Elizabeth was the establishment of a new structure within the predation management forum.  The Secretariat was informed by the Department of Social Development that the organization was officially registered as a non profit organization in the name of Predation Management South Africa (PMSA).  Awaiting the registration of SARS Exemption from Income Tax, which is the next process in the system.

Affiliated members are those organisations who represent the interests of a directly affected group in the livestock industries and ranching industry and comprise of the woolgrowers, red meat producers, mohair growers and wild life ranching.  Operational expenses for the forum will be made good by membership fees of the industries.

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STRAY DOGS

The nationwide problem of stray dogs is shared by David Wardle, small stock farmer in the Cathcart district of the Eastern Cape.

In his capacity as small stock farmer and previous chairperson of the Thomas River Conservancy, Wardle has been dealing with the problem of stray dogs and illegal dog hunting for several years. He is confident that he represents the views and knowledge of most game and small stock farmers throughout the country.

Most people involved in greyhound breeding as well as law enforcement officers are aware of the problem of stray dogs and the sport of dog hunting. In many cases, they are involved and endorse the actions of the communities and the clients of greyhound breeders (dog buyers).

The following categories are deemed problematic and cause devastation to small stock and game farmers across the country:

  1. Stock theft, coupled with the use of damage-causing dogs
  2. Unattended stray dogs
  3. Small-scale hunting for the pot
  4. Illegal large-scale dog hunting and betting (“taxi hunting”)

 

INTENTIONAL STOCK THEFT COUPLED WITH DAMAGE-CAUSING DOGS

Stock theft, a common practice, is associated with stealing sheep, goats, or other small stock, with dogs assisting in the process. Often these dogs are used to scare the sheep to the edges of the camps where they can be caught and tied. Sometimes the dogs are used to catch and drag down the sheep to capture and tie them up for transport. Usually, large syndicates or gangs are involved in the theft and business is done with the spoils. In the Cathcart region especially, theft is executed on a grand scale and up to 50 small stock are stolen at a time and then loaded and sold elsewhere or slaughtered locally.

 

UNATTENDED STRAY DOGS

In towns and townships across the country there are many dogs that are homeless and totally neglected by their owners. These dogs roam the streets and suburbs trying to survive on whatever they can scrounge from bins, gutters, and dumps. Then they begin to form relationships and a pecking order and eventually hunting packs develop, and they learn to survive like wild dogs.

This is when they are most destructive. These dogs wander out into the farmlands and wreak havoc on game and small-stock farms. Scores of sheep, goats, and wildlife are often mauled, mangled, or killed during these raids by wild domestic dogs.

Often the dogs that were previously used in stock theft become part of these packs. They sometimes remember where they were used for stock theft, and head out to the same regions and begin to tackle and maul small stock. These raids into the farms often result in scores or even hundreds of sheep being killed or mauled.

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PMSA

Predation Management South Africa (PMSA) Secretariat 

PO Box 34291

Newton Park

PORT ELIZABETH 

6065 

Office :  (041) 3655030

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact person : Bonita Francis 

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International and national reviews on PredSA

JANUARY 2020 

Reviewer Prof. Brian Reilly of the Tshwane University of Technology speaks positively on the PredSA publication that was released in 2018.  He regards it as a high quality narrative, but its major value lies in the comprehensive literature cited.  At the end of each chapter, knowledge gaps are identified and suggestions raised as to where optimal scientific and financial investments in the future should lie.

The book will be useful in many areas of research and could also help change attitudes to land and wildlife management, reinforcing many underlying principles, but also acting as an engine for shifting attitudes to wildlife, its management and human ethical dilemma.

Click here to read his review

 

MAY 2019 

Paper published by Prof. Graham Kerley highlights how PredSA contributes to best practice in running scientific assessments, the broad messages for policy makers (and researchers) with regards to predation management in SA, and also provides some comments on synthesis centres in Africa and the potential role of assessments to fill this gap. A key point about the need to capacitate policy makers is made.

Click here to read his review

 

APRIL 2019

POSITIVE INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON PRED SA

“The Livestock Predation and its management in SA:  A Scientific Assessment” received a positive book review by Dr. Peter Fleming from Australia.  This independent international perspective is about to be published in the African Journal of Wildlife Research.

Fleming’s review is positive, critically identifies some important areas for consideration and also highlights the value of the governance process that guided PredSA.

Click here to read the preview

 

 

 

 

 

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June 2010

Williston small stock farmer Dr. Koos Louw enlighten us with his own research and calculations on the electrification of fences as a cost effective tool in predation management on extensive small stock farming conditions. 

David Wardle, Cathcart looks at the nationwide problem of stray dogs and categorize them into "Intentional stock theft coupled with damage causing dogs" and "Unattended stray dogs". 

Predation Management Centre (PMC) has sourced several studies completed over the past ten years on predators and / or predation management.  This month's leaflet focuses on the feeding behaviour of the caracal.  

Read the June newsletter, sponsored by FARMRanger - www.farmranger.co.za 

May 2020

Joseph Steyn, Prins Albert expresses his viewpoint that centuries-old "toolbox" of methods with which problem animals are controlled, requires a total reform, as the farming scene has changed radically.  

Prof. Brian Reilly of the Tshwane University reviewed Livestock predation in SA :  a scientific assessment. 

Predation Management Centre (PMC) has sourced several studies completed over the past ten years on predators and / or predation management. 

Read the May newsletter, sponsored by FARMRanger - www.farmranger.co.za 

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