It is already February 2019 with January something of the past. Large parts of the country are affected by the drought. We are thinking of all those people in the western part of the country that have to deal with very difficult circumstances. We are grateful for the good rains that fell over certain areas over the weekend.
1. SA Hunters’ Board Holds Planning Session
On Friday, 25 January, the Board of SA Hunters held a strategic planning session to discuss the challenges lying ahead. I highlight a few aspects.
On 31 January 2019 the membership of SA Hunters stood on 42 020. Over the last five years, the membership figures remained stable at about 42 000, with small deviations during the year. We recruit approximately 4 000 members per year, but another 3000 members’ membership lapse, taking us back to approximately 42 000.
The Board will call on branches and members to give special attention to member recruitment and retention.
Remember, that any member of SA Hunters that recruits ten or more members for SA Hunters in a year, qualify for free membership for the following year. Branches that recruit the same number of members also benefit by receiving a portion of the membership fees, over and above the branch subsidy for members.
Carl Arnold, President van SA Hunters set a target for new member recruitment of 4000 during 2019 and 2020. Let’s join hands to reach this goal.
1.2 SA Hunter Magazine
A growing number of members fin dit difficult to pay the annual membership and requested that the cost of the magazine be deducted from their annual fees. This is not as easy as it might seem. The effect will mean a reduction of only R240 per annum.
When we sold a 50% share in the magazine to the media house, Media24, it was agreed that SA Hunters would continue to subscribe every member to the SA Hunter magazine. If we were to withdraw from that agreement, it would require extensive negotiations with Media 24. IT is not a one-sided decision.
During the 2018 Congress, we did a quick survey among delegates on the possibility to exclude SA Hunter magazine from the membership fee. At that time, the feedback indicated that members still want to receive the magazine.
The Board decided to do another, wider survey among all members with this newsletter to gauge the sentiments of excluding the magazine subscription from the membership fee. Please click here to complete an electronic questionnaire. Once the data has been processed, we will give feedback.
Members that receive the SA Hunter online, experienced problems to access the February edition. The problem has been resolved and both February and March editions are available on MySubs. Media 24 undertook to provide an alternative solution by the end of February as MySubs would most probably no longer be available.
1.3 Hunting affairs
Boetie Kirchner who was appointed Manager Hunting Affairs, started at the beginning of January. He has big plans and we hope to see some interesting developments. The first thereof, is the introduction of the SA Hunters’ system to issue permits or the transportation of wild pig meat. More detail is further on in this newsletter.
Richard Sowry and Lizanne Nel are taking care of Conservation Affairs on behalf of SA Hunters. This year, the emphasis falls on branch involvement in conservation activities and to take the lead in registering and launching meaningful conservation projects.
Branches and their members are encouraged to visit the Conservation page on SA Hunters’ we site for more information about our conservation initiatives. All our policy documents are available here on our website. Please support the SA Hunters Conservation Facebook page and like it here. It will help to grow our community and to tell more people about the contribution of responsible hunting in conservation.
The international pressure to phase out the use of lead ammunition totally, is mounting. The South African government already signed an international agreement in support thereof, and we expect the anti-lead sentiment to increase. The Manager and VP Conservation will assist with further opinions and guidelines on this matter later in the year.
1.5 Sport Shooting
There are numerous developments in the field of sport shooting. The introduction of our multi-disciplinary shooting exercises attracts more attention than we anticipated. Last weekend, the first group of range officers received their training in the Eastern Cape. Branch members are already trying out this discipline even though the implementation measures are still to be finalised at Wednesday’s shooting committee meeting. More information will be sent to branches as soon as possible.
For more information, phone Nic Roets on (012) 808 9300.
1.6 Hunting related shooting activities
Our hunting related shooting activities for the President and Inter Branch Team Shooting competitions have been finalised. The initial discontent about the changes int he rules have been cleared up and the process is running smoothly.
The shooting committee must still clarify some aspects regarding the final hunting rifle shooting exercises for the IGRF shooting competition and the World Championship that SA Hunters will host in South African in October 2019.
Lynx agreed to sponsor the national President Shooting competition yet again this year. We thank Mike Rogers and Lynx for their support.
SA Hunters is discussion the sponsorship of the Inter Branch Team Shooting event with Safari Outdoor. Thank you to the SO management for supporting SA Hunters’ activities.
1.7 IGRF World Championship Shooting Event
SA Hunters presents the IGRF’s (International Gallery Rifle Federation) World Championship in October 2019. The arrangements are progressing well and there is a lot interest in the event. We expect approximately 250 foreign competitors and our local shottists are looking forward to international competition.
1.8 SA Hunters celebrates 70 years
SA Hunters celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The Association as established at the Pretoria Zoo on 1 October 1949. The Board suggested the following activities to help us celebrate 70 years:
- Introducing a special memorial letterhead on 1 February. View it here. A limited number of memorial knives will be available. More information will follow later.
Further activities will be announced later in the year.
2. Fundraising for anti-poaching in KNP
During the Congress dinner in 2018, Jan Lubbe of Sons of Guns and Johannes Coertze of Formalito donated a CZ .375 H+H to be raffled during 2019 to raise funds in support of SANParks anti-poaching activities. For a relatively small amount, members can win this firearm and contribute to a good cause. More information will follow later.
3. Dedicated Status
By the end of December 2018, there were 16 316 out of 17 049 dedicated hunters that already complied with the requirements to maintain their status, while 733 members needed to register further activities. These members will receive a SMS soon to remind them to register activities retrospectively, or to submit a `no activity’ report. Alternatively, SA Hunters will inform the CFR that these members no longer comply with dedicated hunter status.
9 828 of 10 679 dedicated sport shooters comply to retain dedicated status, 869 members can register activities retrospectively, or submit a `no activity’ report. These members will also receive SMS’s soon to remind them and the names of those who no longer comply, will be sent to the CFR to inform them that they no longer enjoy dedicated sport shooter status.
4. Hand delivery of SA Hunter magazine
5. Hunting Affairs
5.1 Issuing of wild pig permits
SA Hunters concluded intensive discussions with the Directorate Animal Health of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to be recognised as an industry organisation whose members may issue permits for the transport of processed wild pig carcasses and meat. This permission was granted in terms of Regulation 20 of the Animal Diseases Act, No 35 van 1984.
5.1.1. Background information about Africa Swine Fever
Control over the transportation of wild pigs (especially warthogs) was introduced in 1935 to restrict the distribution of African Swine Fever, which is a highly contagious and deadly virus that is transferred by the tampan tick to warthogs. They are carriers without getting sick. It is highly contagious and deadly if it breaks out among farmed pigs. It is uncertain if bush pigs and ordinary wild pigs (tame pigs that became feral) and even European bush pigs that escaped from enclosures, are carriers of the virus.
The restriction on the transport of wild pig meat applied to the entire Limpopo Province and adjacent regions of Mpumalanga, Northwest and the northern parts of Kwazulu-Natal. At that time, this region was the natural distribution are of warthogs.
The current restriction on the transportation of wild pig meat requires a veterinary permit to remove processed carcasses and/or meat from warthog and bush pigs from any property or farm in RSA only of the skin, feet, head, intestines and all lymph nodes have been removed from the carcass or meat.
It is general knowledge that the distribution area of warthogs has expanded considerably. Warthogs are now also found in the Eastern Cape, North West, Free State and the Karoo. It increases the risk in the incidence and distribution of Africa Swine Fever. Therefore, it is essential to apply stringent control measures with the transportation of wild pig meat.
Until recently, only state veterinarians and registered members of Wildlife Ranching SA had permission from the Directorate Animal Health to issue permits for the transportation of wild pig meat.
5.1.2. Requirements by the Directorate Animal Health
The agreement between SA Hunters and the Directorate Animal Health authorises the Association as a recognised industry organisation to issue permits to its members that comply with the following criteria:
- A paid-up member of SA Hunters
- Must be an owner or manager of a farm or farm where pigs are hunted.
- The farm or farms where the pigs are to be hunted and the transportation permits issued, must be registered as such in terms of the requirements of the Directorate Animal Health.
- The person issuing the permits must have access to the Internet and SA Hunters member administration system, as well as a printer in order to issue the permits electronically and to make printouts.
- The person must accept in writing all the requirements set out by the Directorate Animal Health.
According to Regulation 20, under The Animal Diseases Act,1984 (Act No 35 of 1984) no warthog or wild pig meat may be transported without a State Veterinary permit in the Provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and North-West;
“Regulations 20 (a)(ix): move or remove any warthog, bush pig or wild pig carcass, meat, skin, trophy or any other product of warthog, bush pig or wild pig origin to, across or from land in the Provinces of Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West or KwaZulu-Natal.”
The following requirements by the Directorate Animal Health are applicable and must be accepted by each person that issues a permit and the person transporting the pig meat:
- I have familiarised myself with the Animal Diseases Act (No 35 of 1984) and its regulations;
- I am aware that wild pigs (warthogs and bush pigs) and any ticks on the wild pigs carry a risk of transmitting African Swine Fever;
- I will only issue permits for processed meat products and carcasses without the head, legs, skin, viscera and lymph nodes;
- I will only issue one permit per single wild pig carcass without the head, legs, skin, viscera and lymph nodes;
- I will only issue one permit per wild pig carcass for household use (not commercial or trophy use) up to a maximum of three permits per transporter per week;
- I will only issue permits for wild pigs hunted on my premises;
- Should any signs of animal disease be noted on my premises I will contact the State Veterinarian of my area;
- I undertake to keep a signed hard copy of each permit issued for a period of 5 years;
- I agree to accommodate regular audits by SA Hunters on permits I have issued;
- I undertake to inform SA Hunters should there be a change to any of the details listed above (this includes any changes to ownership or management of the registered farm);
- I acknowledge that should I not comply with the above, my authorisation will be retracted.
5.1.3. Electronic Issuing of Permits
SA Hunters decided to simplify the issuing of these permits and to enable only electronic dispensing of person to avoid any cost by the members or the hunters. Firstly, it saves money or the member that wants to register his farm to issue permits. Secondly, it simplifies the reporting of issued permits to the Directorate Animal Health.
The regular permit system made provision for the printing of permit books and provided to member at cost. The electronic issuing process of SA Hunters requires no printing and eliminates the permit book distribution to members.
The Directorate Animal Health requires monthly reports on all issued permits. The electronic issuing system captures the data automatically on SA Hunters’ system and eliminates the additional administrative work to prepare reports for submission to the Directorate Animal Health. The data can be sent to the Department in a single file by e-mail.
5.1.4. Registration of Farms
Any member of SA Hunters that is a land owner and that wishes to issue these permits, must first register his farm. The application for registration is done online via the member’s personal profile on SA Hunters’ member administration system. Applicants complete the form online, print it out, sign it and fax it to SA Hunters or scan the form in and send it by e-mail to SA Hunters. As soon as the application is approved, a copy is sent to the Directorate Animal Health to keep on record.
The member is informed that his/her farm has been registered and that he/she may issue permits. The member and SA Hunter must save a copy of this written application.
A step-by-step manual for the registration process is available here.
5.1.5. Issuing of Permits
As soon as the member has been informed that his farm was registered, he. She can start issuing permits. The information is also saved on SA Hunters member administration system. Therefore, it is important for members to have access to the internet and a printer to issue a permit.
Sign in on your profile, provide the correct information and print out two copies of the permit. You and the transporter must both sigh the permit for the transport of meat. You give one copy to the transporter and keep one for your own records for at least five years.
The same step-by-step process referred to above also describes the process of issuing permits to transporters
SA Hunters undertook to assist the Faculty for Veterinary Science with research on the potential distribution of African Swine Fever. Each member that applies for registration of his farm can indicate if he is willing to collect blood samples taken according to a specified method of the pigs hunted on his farm and send it to SA Hunters. Thereby, members can contribute towards research on the spread of Africa Swine Fever outside the endemic distribution area of warthogs.
A short description of the project is available here. Detailed instructions on the method for taking blood samples will be supplied once the registration process has been concluded.
We want to thank Drs Mpo Maja and Leana van Rensburg and their colleagues for their kind cooperation in enabling SA Hunters to be part of this process.
6.1 Partnership between SA Hunters and AfricanBats
Following several months of discussions, SA Hunters signed an agreement with AfricanBats NPC to collaborate on bat conservation in South Africa as part of the Working Wild Programme of SA Hunters. The Working Wild Programme advances worthwhile conservation initiatives through partnerships with like-minded organisations and conservation programmes by mobilising its members to support and participate in these initiatives.
Through this initiative, members of the 80 branches of SA Hunters can now participate in structured bat conservation initiatives lead by experts from AfricanBats. Areas identified for collaboration further include raising public awareness on bats, mapping and surveying bats, as well as facilitating research on bats. Branches and members are encouraged to access more information on this initiative from the Conservation Section on the SA Hunters Website here.
6.2 SA Hunters Support Protected Areas
SA Hunters often engages various conservation agencies to provide support for the expansion, management and maintenance of protected areas. As part of such an initiative, members of the Kameeldoring Branch rendered assistance to the Mafikeng Nature Reserve with various initiatives. After noticing several problems, they engaged officials from Northwest Parks to obtain a better understanding of the situation and the management challenges faced at the reserve.
The Branch decided to assist with equipping a borehole with solar panels and a pump to provide additional water for the game on the reserve. According to Pieter Nel, Conservation Manager of Northwest Parks, the repairs to the water supply attracted buffalo and other game to that underutilised section of the reserve with visible improvement in the condition of game.
Mafikeng and Botsalano Reserves were visited in January to assess potential areas for support by the Branch. With assistance from the Conservation Manager, the branch will this year develop a model for branches of SA Hunters to provide structured support to conservation areas that can be used by other branches.
7. Availability of S 365 en S 335 Propellant
Rheinmetall Denel confirmed that manufacturing of propellant for reloading will commence later in 2019. Members are advised to try alternative brands. SA Hunters remains in contact with Rheinmetall Denel and will keep members informed as soon as local propellant is available once again..
8. Firearm licences: Interdict against SAPS
I sent a message to members last week following a news article about a court application that instructs the SAPS to pay the licence for computer software used to store data on firearms that the SAPS neglected to pay. It could not yet be confirmed whether the software was used to maintain date on SAPS’ own firearms or for firearms owned by the public. This system should not have an impact on the issuing of firearm licences to the public. We will inform members as soon as we have all the facts. Meanwhile, we remind members to apply for or renew licences as usual.
9. Renewal of Competency
We remind members to check the validity of their competency certificates. Remember that competency expires at the same time as the licence of the relevant firearm type. If your handgun is licensed in terms of Section 13 for self-defence purposes, the licence is valid for 5 years. When that licence expires, your competency certificate for a handgun also expires, except if the handgun was licensed in terms of Section 16, which makes it valid for 10 years.
Make sure that you know when your competency expires and apply for renewal in time. Should the opportunity arise to renew lapsed firearm licences, it will not help you if your competency has expired.
10. Photo Competition
SA Hunters’ annual photo competition will go ahead in 2019. The purpose of the competition is to compile a portfolio of the best photographs that our members have taken during the year. We will upload the photographs on our website and use it in presentations and advertisements at events such as the gala evening of our annual congress.
At the end of each month, we will choose photographs to add to our portfolio and publish them on www.sahunters.co.za Gold, silver and bronze certificates will be awarded to the best photographs.
Our sponsor donated a new camera for the winner of the best photograph. The prize will be handed over to the winner during the congress gala evening at the end of the year. We are also trying to obtain more prizes for different categories.
Our categories for the 2019 competition are:
- The Hunter (Not hunted animals) - Images that depict a hunter, man or animal, in nature
- Nature Talks -Images from nature that talk to your soul, i.e. landscapes with extraordinary backgrounds or colours
- Wildlife - Images depicting any animal life (land, bird or marine life)
- Shooting – a dedicated sport - Images showing the action, dedication, gear and preparation of the sport shooting competitor.
Read here how to enter.
11. HuntEx 2019
12. Commercial affairs
We include links to our website on special offers available to members of SA Hunters. Select the link for more information.
- Toyota SA
- Westvaal Nelspruit
- Wildman Hunting and Outdoor
- Hokaai Slaghuis
- Die Wildshoekie Vleismark
- LAVA Vakuumverpakking
- MAINSU Kragopwekkers
- Cens Digital Gehoorbeskerming
- Uitlaatstelle van De Graaf Autosentrum in Van der Hoffweg Pretoria
- Nitecore Flitse
- Cassie Nienaber – Ladingontwikkeling en Herlaai
Click here for more information about any of the benefits on offer.
13. Ivory project
The ivory knife project is back on track after we fell behind with orders and deliveries. The ivory project comprises knives with knife handles made from ivory that SA Hunters inherited from Nico van Rooyen. Place your orders as soon as possible to avoid missing out on this opportunity. Only 150 knives will be made. 80 knives have already been sold and further orders are waiting for delivery. Click here to see photos of the knives.
14. SA Hunters Mobile Phone App and Member Administration System
We wish to remind members to make use of our electronic administration options to keep their personal information and hunting and shooting activities up to date on their SA Hunters profiles.
SA Hunters: CEO