Regulation of the Trophy Hunting Industry
Legal Protection of the Client
In 1981, the four Provincial Nature Conservation Departments (Cape, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal) introduced legislation to control the hunting, outfitting and professional hunting industries in South Africa.
The object of the legislation was to provide protection for the foreign hunter in South Africa by setting standards that would be obligatory before a hunting outfitter or professional hunter would be licensed to operate, and to provide for the maintenance of these standards once a license has been granted.
Training of the Professional Hunter
The legal requirements to be met before a hunting outfitter or professional hunter can obtain a license are as follows:
All candidates are required to complete a comprehensive training course at a professional hunting school. These schools are private institutions and are only allowed to operate after careful screening by the nature conservation agencies. The syllabus is prescribed by the nature conservation agencies as well.
A variety of subjects which cover the full spectrum of trophy hunting are dealt with. Candidates are required to pass a written examination compiled and conducted by the nature conservation agencies.
Once the professional hunter/outfitter has obtained a certificate, he/she is licensed.
Further Requirements for the Hunting Outfitter
At present the requirement to become a Hunting Outfitter comprises of the following:
- Three years practical experience as a Professional Hunter
- Facilities are inspected which he offers to clients
- Hunting camps, trophy preparation facilities, vehicles and staff are required to conform to set standards.
- Publicity material must be submitted to the Nature Conservation officials before distribution as a safeguard against misleading advertising.
- Regular follow-up inspections are carried out.
Legal Agreements and Facilities
Further protection is provided by the legal requirement for a written agreement:
- Regard to species and sex of game offered
- Fees for trophies and services provided
- Duration of the hunt and daily rates.
This agreement is entered into between the client and the hunter / outfitter prior to the client leaving his own country.
The outfitter is legally responsible for supplying all hunting requirements once the client enters South Africa, e.g.
- transport – getting to and from the hunting area, and while hunting
- hunting camp accommodation, for the duration of the hunt
- hunting services: trackers, skinners, etc.
- provision of a licensed professional hunter
- skinning and trophy preparation facilities, dispatch of trophies
- arrangements with landowners for hunting of game, should this be necessary
- all licenses and permits required for hunting
- all permits required for dispatch of trophies
Professional Hunters/Hunting Outfitters must be licensed in each province where they operate. It is important that the client checks to make sure that the operator is licensed in the province where the proposed hunt is to take place.
The introduction and enforcement of legislation in the professional hunting industry, geared primarily to protect the client from malpractice, has effectively raised standards.
The Professional Hunter’s Responsibilities
The professional hunter is the person who physically guides a client in the hunting area in order to hunt an animal to obtain a trophy.
- He sees to the welfare of his client while in the hunting camp
- He is in charge of the hunting camp and its personnel
- He makes certain that his client is in possession of the necessary permits, licences or other documents before he allows him to hunt
- He sees to it that his client’s trophies are skinned and prepared according to the correct methods
- He is responsible for his client’s safety while in the camp and in the hunting area.
The Professional Hunter sees to it that his client does not hunt contrary to the provisions of the law.
He does not receive any remuneration from the client for services rendered. The client remunerates the hunting-outfitter for services and trophies, who in turn pays the professional hunter.
He does not recruit clients or offer his services to a client directly, he works for a hunting outfitter who recruits and presents services to the client.
The Hunting-Outfitter’s Responsibilities
The Hunting Outfitter recruits the client through advertisements or by other means.
- He arranges and organizes the client’s hunt from start to finish
- He enters into a written agreement with the client with regard to the animals to be hunted and the facilities and service which will be supplied and rendered
- He is directly remunerated by the client for his services
- He furnishes the hunting areas where the animals are hunted and also the camp with all its conveniences and services
- He supplies the camp personnel and pays them
- He supplies the camp with provisions and stores
- He sees to it that the client is guided by qualified licenced professional hunters
- He obtains the necessary permits, licences and other documents enabling his client to hunt legally
- It is his responsibility to obtain the necessary permits to convey and export his client’s trophies and to see to it that the trophies are delivered in good shape and order.
Although the professional hunter is actually in charge of the hunting camp and sees to the skinning and handling of the trophies, and at times provides transport on a hunting trip, it does not exempt the Hunting Outfitter from his overall responsibility to his client.
In many cases the professional hunter and the Hunting Outfitter are the same person and therefore responsible for the combined duties and functions and must also be in possession of both permits to operate as professional hunter and as hunting outfitter.