I trust that most of you have already had the privilege to hunt this season or to enjoy some time out in nature. If not, you are probably getting ready for the hunt.

Amidst all the excitement for the preparations, I want to remind you of the various viruses that you need to be aware of and to make precautions to avoid. The wonderful rain we received in the past month in many parts in South Africa, has created favourable conditions for insects that transmit dangerous viruses. This letter is not intended to scare you, but just to inform you of what is out there and how to best avoid or treat it.


Firstly, Congo fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever has already occurred in the North-West, Free State and Northern Cape. The virus is primarily transmitted by ticks and contact with bodily fluids of infected people. There is no vaccine available and has a fatality rate of 10 up to 40%. Read more about it at Maroela Media and WHO.

Secondly, please note that the conditions are favourable for the outbreak of Malaria. Members that are travelling to the Lowveld and East Coast areas are advised to consult their pharmacists or general practitioners for the best prophylaxis to prevent infections. For more information about malaria areas, click here.

Thirdly, is the confirmed outbreak of Sleeping sickness in Zimbabwe. Those of you who are privileged to hunt in the tsetse fly infected areas, please read the experiences of a professional hunter here.

Fourthly, is the outbreak of African Swine Fever, which has already occurred in four provinces, i.e. Mpumalanga, Northwest, Natal and recently the Free State. A total ban on the transport of pigs - wild and domestic -has been implemented to contain the spread of the disease. A quarantine also applies. Consult your local farmers’ associations and the newspapers for more information. ASF is a serious problem for pigs but consumers of pork are not affected. For more information, read here.

Our sincere appreciation to all members that are participating in the research project on ASF undertaken by the University of Pretoria. SA Hunters appeal to all participating landowners to submit the blood samples to Inyathi Park as soon as possible. For more info on how to register your property with SA Hunters for the issuing of pig permits, click here.

I wish you all an adventurous and prosperous hunting season. Remember that you can still enter our competitions for a Buffalo hunt and a Tiger fish adventure. Entries for the buffalo hunt closes 31 July 2019 and 13 August 2019 for the Tiger fish adventure.

Regards
Boetie Kirchner
Manager: Hunting Affairs