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SAHGCA Selective Breeding Policy


ACKNOWLEDGING that SAHGCA has the responsibility of protecting the long-term interests of its members in terms of their ability to participate in fair-chase hunting of representative indigenous species, specifically concerning the conservation of the genetic diversity and integrity of huntable species and the preservation of extensive wildlife systems, essential to fair-chase hunting;

RE-ENFORCING SAHGCA’s commitment to section 24 of the Constitution of South Africa, the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international conventions and agreements, and South Africa’s environmental management  legislation;

APPRECIATING that responsible wildlife utilisation is a cornerstone for economic growth and sustainable rural development in a developing country with significant socio-economic challenges and that responsible use and conservation are mutually dependent and inseparable components of the broader conservation landscape if done sustainably, in a manner that provides for the needs of the present, while not compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations;

OBSERVING that recent trends in wildlife ranching include deliberate selection of individual animals of indigenous game species for breeding purposes based on specific animal traits, in intensive production systems or highly altered semi-intensive environments, to produce extraordinary animals based on either unusual colour variations or trophy size;

CONCERNED that exploitation and deliberate selective breeding for specific traits in indigenous wild animals, if uncontrolled, may have detrimental effects and unwanted consequences on our biodiversity heritage and the biodiversity economy, such as;

  1. uncontrollable impacts on natural evolutionary processes including changes in behaviour, breeding patterns and reproductive cycles;
  2. loss of rare alleles and decreased genetic integrity of naturally occurring wildlife populations;
  3. decreased genetic fitness and adaptability to environmental conditions, including environmental changes associated with climate change;
  4. negative impacts on individual animals’ welfare;
  5. uncontainable expansion of exotic and extralimital wildlife species outside their historical natural habitats;
  6. elevated risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks and epidemics;
  7. unpredictable impacts on habitats and ecosystems;
  8. increased risk of persecution of predators, of which some species are already under significant threat;
  9. reputational damage on the hunting industry associated with hunting of captive bred animals;
  10. questionable integrity of South African wildlife trophies internationally;
  11. unpredictable increase in prices of indigenous wild animals, affecting local consumptive hunters, extensive wildlife ranchers and activities along the entire value chain;
  12. increased risk of disinvestment in extensive wildlife ranching and associated reduction in the contribution of associated sectors on the biodiversity economy and national conservation targets and objectives; and
  13. the ability of eco-tourism and the hunting industry to contribute sustainably to the economy and the wellbeing of the broader public.

1)  EXPRESSES its full commitment to further develop and promote the principles, criteria, indicators and incentives for responsible wildlife utilisation, including hunting, as well as extensive wildlife ranching based on sound conservation principles;


  1. artificial and unnatural manipulation of wildlife to enhance or alter species’ genetic and phenotypic characteristics (e.g. coat colour, body size or horn size) in particular through intentional cross-breeding of species, subspecies or evolutionary significant local phenotypes and or the use of domestic livestock breeding methods such as, but not limited to, line breeding, germplasm and semen production or trading, artificial insemination, embryo transfer, castration, growth hormone treatments, controlled or unnatural breeding programs and cloning; and
  2. the intentional breeding of indigenous wild animals in intensive- or highly altered semi-intensive production systems for purely commercial purposes; 

3)  ENCOURAGES Government to:

  1. embrace its responsibility as Custodian and Trustee of the nation’s biodiversity heritage in accordance with the Constitution and the National Environmental Management Act;  and
  2. institute adequate control mechanisms for the regulation of commercial breeding and production operations with indigenous wild animals;

4)  OFFERS support and assistance to Government and relevant organisations to develop policies and establish guidelines in respect of the above;

5)  URGES all SAHGCA members to abstain from trading in and hunting animals so manipulated as contemplated; and

6)  INVITES all national and international hunting organizations and associations to adopt similar guidelines and policies.

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