The interest around the breeding of African wildlife was recently brought to the forefront following the shooting of Cecil the lion. In a hunting expedition that upset the world, the king of the jungle was gunned down during a hunting tour in Zimbabwe. For the first time in many years the focus on wildlife breeding and hunting in Africa was again thrown into a negative spotlight with activists from around the world harshly criticizing the hunting practices that rich people indulge in on the African planes.
But on the otherwise of the story comes one that tells of uplifting communities out of poverty through the use of game breeding and in some cases hunting.
(Note that when we discuss hunting we are in no way referring to canned hunting or illegal hunting)
The necessity of game breeding in South Africa
Many of the animals that are bred in South Africa are sold at auction as prized creatures whose genetic makeup and overall health are so remarkable that other game breeders purchase these animals purely for breeding purposes. Game breeding and auctioning is not a hobby, it is a big money investment. Animals sold at auction either go on to breed at other game ranches or they are sold for hunting, however animals sold for hunting is a very rare occurrence as their new owners are known to pay out millions for them. Therefore shooting them would literally be a waste of money.
Why is the selling of animals a positive thing? Well the money is many times the financial injection that is needed to encourage economic growth within a community and it is the force which ensures that the local community is sustained through the creation of jobs and the tourism that many game farms bring to rural areas. This makes game breeding an all-round winning activity, for those who will have job opportunities, for the new owner of the animal and even for the animal who will be treated with care.
Game breeding and hunting
Although animal rights activists kick up a fuss when an animal is hunted, the hunting industry is not only providing the income for communities to live off of but it is also a great thing for conservation even though hunting animals might not seem like an activity that does any good for the environment. Hunting, the hunting of antelope in particular, keeps the numbers low and the environment healthy. Antelope that are able to roam out of control and that are able to eat up all of the grassland can experience a population explosion. As a result the environment can end up being damaged and the population of antelope might end up being culled.
Hunting is a good option for those looking to reduce the amount of antelope while also making some money. Although not all of us can agree on hunting, it is a reality that we are living with.
The best sellers
Each year game breeders take their prized animals to auction. The auctions are a great way to reduce population numbers as well as to spread the genetics of good stock.
You’d think that the animals that are sold for the most money are those that are the most well-known. But the lion, elephant or rhino are not sold for much at breeder’s auctions. This is due to the heavy restrictions that are often placed on the buying and selling of these big game breeds. Legislation protects these animals as many are endangered species that are sold for canned hunting purposes, something that is highly illegal in many countries in Africa.
Game breeders are passionate about the animals that they have and they pay close attention to the health and genetic makeup of their wild life. Game breeding has more positive aspects than negative, even if the hunting industry and breeding industry are closely linked to one another.