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Public Notice

Ex Situ Wild Animal and Primate Management in KZN


The KZN Nature Conservation Board (of Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (EKZNW)) invited public comments by Public Notice during August 2006 in the Natal Mercury and Ilanga newspapers. In those Notices the Board indicated its intent to adopt Policy, Norms and Standards for the management of ex situ wild animals and of primates in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. These statements in those Notices were erroneous as the Board does not have the power to adopt policies but is, inter alia, enjoined to investigate, amongst others, legislation and policies pertaining to the function of nature conservation and to make recommendations thereon to the MEC and to adopt norms and standards relating to policies. In order to avoid any prejudice as a result of the erroneous Notice the Board requests the public to disregard that Notice and hereby gives Notice as set out below.

The Board intends submitting recommendations concerning the management of (A) ex situ and problem primates and (B) ex situ wild animals in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to the KZN MEC of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, in terms of provisions of the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Management Act 9 of 1997. Further, the Board intends in due course to adopt Norms and Standards pertaining to these recommendations, in terms of Section 5 (3) of this Act.

Interested and affected parties and stakeholders are invited to submit written comment to EKZNW on both the primate and ex situ animal draft recommendations prior to them being finalised for submission to the MEC as well as on the revised draft Norms and Standards.

A. PRIMATE MANAGEMENT

In August 2006 EKZNW published draft documents on the management of ex situ and problem primates for public comment after three years of investigations and consultation with key stakeholders and other provincial agencies. A public meeting took place in September 2006. An additional stakeholder workshop was held in November 2006 to consult on specific areas of primate use. The draft documents have been revised, taking into account all comments received and information obtained, resulting in:

1. Draft Recommendation to the MEC concerning the management of ex situ and problem primates in KwaZulu-Natal

2. Revised draft Norms and Standards for permitting and registration of Primate Centres in KwaZulu-Natal

3. Revised draft Norms and Standards for care and management of ex situ vervet monkeys in KwaZulu-Natal

The purpose for preparing a recommendation to the MEC concerning management of primates is to ensure that management approaches for dealing with primates that a) come into conflict with humans, or b) are held in captivity for any reason, are consistent, protect biodiversity, and are ethical and humane. These documents pertain to all 5 species of primates that occur in South Africa (chacma baboons, vervet and samango monkeys and two species of bushbaby) as well as exotic primate species. They aim to promote inter-agency and NGO co-operation, and to prevent activities that pose risks for conservation of indigenous primate species (e.g. disease transmission). They provide enabling mechanisms for responsible rehabilitation and sanctuary efforts and the keeping in captivity of primates for conservation breeding, research and awareness. They also intend to ensure that appropriate standards are in place, and due care is exercised in the issuing of permits, to prevent cruelty or neglect of primates in captivity. Primates are highly social, intelligent and sentient animals and have special needs when kept in captivity (including appropriate social contact, environmental enrichment and specific dietary requirements).

These 3 draft primate documents will be available for comment from 30 June 2007, and all comments must be made in writing by 31 July 2007. All comments received will then be taken into account in finalising the recommendation to be submitted to the MEC, and in due course the Norms and Standards for adoption by the Board.

B. EX SITU WILD ANIMAL MANAGEMENT

The draft document that was provided for public comment in August 2006, and discussed at a public meeting in September 2006, has been reviewed and revised taking into account all comments received and information obtained. This has resulted in the preparation of a draft Recommendation to the MEC that will be made available from 30 June 2007 for public comment, and all comments should be submitted in writing by 30 September 2007:

Draft Recommendation to the MEC concerning the management of ex situ wild animals in KwaZulu-Natal In addition, interested and affected parties will be invited to attend a Stakeholder Workshop (in August/September) to discuss this draft Recommendation, and to identify key areas where Norms and Standards for ex situ wild animal management may be needed (e.g. for keeping mammals, birds, and reptiles in captivity). It is intended that Stakeholder Workshops will be held in October-December to initiate the development of sector/taxa-specific Norms and Standards. All comments received will then be taken into account in finalising the Recommendation for submission to the MEC. It is intended that the recommendation will be submitted to the MEC thereafter, and that in due course the Board will act to adopt Norms and Standards for aspects of ex situ wild animal management.

The purpose for preparing a recommendation to the MEC is to achieve a framework and guidelines for decisionmaking with regard to the issue of permits and to set appropriate standards for the keeping of wild animals in captivity. The influence of the Norms and Standards would be limited to those species provided for in biodiversity and conservation legislation. It is recognised that keeping of wild animals in captivity can contribute significantly to conservation of species e.g. breeding, rehabilitation and sanctuaries for endangered species and conservation awareness programmes. However in many cases the value of keeping wild animals in captivity and/or breeding them is of little value to conservation, and can represent significant risk to conservation of the species in the wild, and can lead to neglect and animal welfare problems. Some of the key problems and challenges that this recommendation intends to address are: inconsistent approaches and lack of standards for keeping and handling of wild animals in captivity, unwise translocations and releases, accumulations of animals in captivity, genetic pollution and disease transmission to wild-living populations, sub-standard animal husbandry, and diverse and divided role-players and stakeholders. The issues are complex, and a risk-assessment approach is proposed in order to take implications for biodiversity conservation, animal welfare, effective governance and societal values into account.

How to obtain the draft documents and to submit comment

These documents will be available for viewing on the EKZNW website www.kznwildlife.com (select the 'Public Comment' tab), and at Reception of EKZNW offices in Pietermaritzburg and Durban. They will be available from the 30 June 2007.

All comments must be submitted in writing by due date (i.e. 31 July 2007 for draft primate recommendation and Norms and Standards, and 30 September 2007 for draft ex situ recommendation), for Attention: GM:Conservation Planning: by email to Public_Comment@kznwildlife.com or posted to: PO Box 13053 Cascades 3202.

Enquiries should be directed to Mrs Gerda de Jager: Tel: 033-8451470 or dejager@kznwildlife.com

 

 


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