On behalf of the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) we would like to set the record straight by separating the facts from fiction.
Under the previous PHASA constitution, the 2015 Resolution was fatally flawed, it could not be enforced and was inconsequential. PHASA is now in a far SUPERIOR position to apply stricter hunting regulations on ranched lions and can now legally implement disciplinary action against members who contravene the new 2017 Resolution.
To clarify any misperception; PHASA vehemently rejects any and all forms of canned or illegal hunting.
The PHASA Constitution was changed to facilitate higher standards of good governance and administration of our Association. We cannot allow the inconsistencies or mismanagement of our Association that resulted in the unprecedented Court Case of 2016 to repeat itself.
- The hunting of lions was permitted under the previous PHASA constitution.
- The 2015 Resolution “to distance”, did not change the previous PHASA constitution.
- The riders that were added as an after fact to the 2015 AGM in an effort to give consequential action to the 2015 resolution were rejected by the High Court in the action of 2016 as being incorrect, misleading and wrong. They formed no part of the 2015 Resolution.
- This court case made it clear that actions by EXCO must be accountable and in accordance with the laws of the land.
- Issues that are subjective or morally selective such as ethics, are not clearly defined and can’t supersede the legal parameters of the South African Constitution.
- Captive Bred Lion Hunting continued during 2015, 2016 & 2017 despite the 2015 PHASA Resolution.
- 2017 witnessed the introduction of a mobile app, allowing all members of the Association access to relevant information and access to voting rights. This innovative introduction finally broke the “proxy war” that had a skewed influence on previous AGM’s.
- The 2017 Resolution (“PHASA accepts the responsible hunting of ranched lions on SAPA accredited hunting ranches within the relevant legal framework and/or according to recommendations of the applicable hunting association, such as SCI’s fair chase standards.”) was introduced to bring the legal hunting of lions in line with the responsible hunting standards as required by PHASA and International Hunting Associations.
- There are currently only 8 SAPA Accredited Hunting Ranches in the country. PHASA members may only hunt ranched lions on these few ranches.
- Unlike the 2015 Resolution, consequential actions were now introduced as part of the 2017 Resolution – “Any member who contravenes this resolution may face disciplinary procedures according to the PHASA constitution”
- The claim that the New Constitution was introduced to allow for unethical hunting is not true. Our National legal requirement for the hunting of Predators is of a higher standard than the ethics of most other African or International Hunting Associations. South Africa’s Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) regulations stipulate that no large predator may be hunted, from or with the use of a:
- motorized vehicle, aircraft, bow, handgun or semi-automatic firearm, artificial lights, dogs, bait, poison, traps & snares luring with sounds or smell.
- The claim that PHASA has turned its back on “Ethical” practices such as fair chase to adopt “Legal” lower standards is unfounded. THE LEGAL STANDARDS UNDER THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: BIODIVERSITY ACT, 2004 (ACT 10 OF 2004): THREATENED OR PROTECTED SPECIES (TOPS) REGULATIONS “CODES OF ETHICAL CONDUCT AND GOOD PRACTICE” STATES:
CODES OF ETHICAL CONDUCT AND GOOD PRACTICE
52. The code of ethical conduct and good practices of a hunting organisation must –
a) require its members to act in strict compliance with-
(i) legislation regulating the hunting industry; and
(ii) any conditions subject to which national hunting permits are granted to a member;
b) define criteria for the hunting of listed threatened or protected species in accordance
with the fair chase principle;
c) require its members to act in strict compliance with those criteria when hunting a listed
threatened or protected species; and
d) provide for disciplinary steps against any member who breaches a provision of the
code, which should include steps for the suspension or expulsion of such a member
from the organisation.
The newly adopted Constitution and Resolution of 2017 has placed PHASA in a stronger position in terms of accountability and regulating our industry.
FROM THE 2016 COURT PROCEEDINGS IT WAS CLEAR THAT PHASA’S 2015 RESOLUTION HAD NO LEGAL STANDING AND COULD NOT BE IMPLEMENTED.
PHASA EXCO HAD DONE WHAT THEY PERCEIVED TO BE “ETHICALLY” CORRECT (ACCORDING TO THE PREVIOUS PHASA CONSTITUTION), BUT THIS ACTION WAS “LEGALLY” FLAWED.
IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT IT WAS PARAMOUNT FOR THE PHASA CONSTITUTION TO BE REWRITTEN, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE LAND.
We understand the concerns of fellow Hunting Associations and request that should you require any further clarity or information we will assist and address all concerns. Further, we urge you to abide with us as we strive to ensure that the benefits of this new dynamic at PHASA begin to flow into the South African hunting dynamic.
We look forward to our continued cooperation and building a better future for hunting in South Africa.