Cape Town – Following an exposé on the investigate journalism television series Carte Blanche, animal activists from across South Africa have expressed their disgust with the practice of driven hunts, comparing the brutal killing to that of the Dolphin Cove slaughter.
Adding suspense to the controversial story, a group of international hunters arrived on Monday 7 September are at the Farm outside Alldays in the Limpopo province, where they will take part in a legal driven hunt.
The NSPCA, who has been the driving force behind outlawing the driven hunts, has launched an emergency protest against this scheduled hunt taking place and has now gained a warrant to access the farm, the group said on Facebook.
“Our team has successfully obtained a warrant to gain access to the farms for the next four days. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to stop the hunt, but we need to work within the framework of the law and our powers. We will keep our supporters updated,” they said.
The NSPCA has called on those against the driven hunt to gather outside the farms and send objections to the Limpopo Department of Environmental Affairs.
Carte Blanche on Sunday night asked viewers to vote whether the practice, which is completely legal in South Africa, should be outlawed and the response was overwhelming. 96% of the voters said driven hunts should be banned, as opposed to 3% of voters would said it should continue.
Activists also expressed their disgust with the activity.
Dale Gauldie commented on Carte Blanche’s Facebook post saying, “This is not a hunt – its barbaric slaughter and what makes it even worse is that it is not done with a clean – one shot kill – most of the animals will be maimed and injured and it will be a while before they can be put out of their misery.”
Helene Louw said, “How can we point fingers at the terrible atrocities in the Cove to Dolphins, and the hunting to extinction of whales if we allow such a horrible practice in our own country?”
Josh Jamieson commented saying, “Seems like people have lost the meaning of hunting; it’s between you and the animal one on one. Tracking, stalking and then you’re a hunter. It won’t stop because money talks in this country, not ethics. I am a biltong hunter and I would not be involved with this – it really is not the way we as hunters should be setting an example in actually caring for the ecological environment.”
A driven hunt is an old English method of hunting, usually used with the hunting of game birds. During the hunt, hunters are placed on various vantage points from where the animals can be seen more clearly. Animals are then spooked and driven in the direction of the awaiting hunters, who then proceed to shoot the animals as they pass.
What makes the hunt more controversial is that land animals, especially, are chased into very restricted boundaries during driven hunts. This makes killing easy for hunters, but results in masses of animals – young and old, male and female – to be killed, or in worst (and most) cases, maimed.
The animals are also shot without hunters’ having to concentrate on their aim, so the meat and hides of the animals are typically spoiled by by body shots and an excess of lead in the meat.