Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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October 2, 2014 Business

Revenue from the hunting season this year, initially projected at about $75 million, will decline by between 20 and 30 percent mainly due to the ban that the United States imposed on sport hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe, an official said on Friday. The United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) early this year suspended imports of sport hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania citing what it termed “questionable management practices and a lack of effective law enforcement”.

Americans make up the majority of trophy hunters in Zimbabwe, exporting an average of 160 elephants per year.

Safari Tour Operators of Zimbabwe president Emmanuel Fundira told New Ziana the ban would impact negatively on hunting revenue.

“I must say that revenues are going to go down between 20 and 30 percent because of the ban,” he said, adding attempts to negotiate with the USFWS had failed to yield positive results.

Mr Fundira led a delegation to Washington DC in July to negotiate for the ban to be lifted.

He said part of the argument by the US, justifying the ban, was that Zimbabwe was not doing enough to empower local communities through revenue realized from hunting activities.

“They need us to present to them what they call an elephant management plan which on its own takes a considerable amount of time to prepare.

“But I think there is a lack of faith and trust in terms of the negotiations which are taking place.”

Mr Fundira said he also suspected a hidden political agenda behind the ban and demands that the Americans were making.

The hunting season in Zimbabwe runs from April to November.

The country hosts hunters from countries including Russia, the United States, Hungary, Spain and Germany who pay to shoot animals such as lions, elephants and leopards, earning the country millions in revenue.

Last year revenue from hunting reached $65 million. – New Ziana.


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