PRED SA OUTCOMES: Eyes on better leadership and policy in predation management
The first scientific assessment of predation on livestock in South Africa (Pred SA) is almost complete. The assessment, which started with fundraising six years ago, and which was well underway by 2016, is a first of its kind globally, and it is exciting to be able to claim it as a South African product.
SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT FOR PREDATORS COMPLETED !
During the NWGA national congress mid June 2018, Prof. Graham Kerley, Nelson Mandel University announced that the scientific assessment for livestock predation and its management in South Africa has been completed and awaiting the signatures of both ministers for Environmental Affairs and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, before it can be printed and launched. He elaborated on the content of the assessment and highlighted what the 9 chapters consist of.
The outcomes of the assessment are the following:
- Comprehensive assessment is a global first. When speaking to international agencies, they are able to ascertain that farmers are responsible in taking a scientific and robust approach in managing predators.
- Economic impacts may be relatively small in terms of GDP, but high at the individual farmer scale, with impacts on the rural economy, employment and food security.
- Commercial and communal livestock farmers face similar predation challenges
- There is no simple solution to managing livestock predation, therefore there is no silver bullet.
- Legislation and regulations need an overhaul. It is important to note that the book is policy informative and not policy prescriptive and that members need to engage with policy makers.
- Adaptive management approach needed to better the use of existing information
- Collaborative relationship between livestock managers, researchers and policy makers
The need for and value of a scientific assessment
Science can and must provide valid inputs into the challenges and policy needs of livestock predation management in South Africa through the PredSA scientific assessment process. Furthermore, it is predicted that PredSA will give a much needed boost to building trans disciplinary research capacity and raise the standards of research on livestock predation and management in South Africa. Click here for 3-page Commentary paper.