Tourism: Tanzanian firm, other stakeholders, urges UK govt. to ‘discontinue trophy hunting imports ban bill to save African wildlife

Robin Hurt Safaris, a leading SADC Safari hunting company, that has so far spent over US$367 000.00 to support wildlife conservation and socio-economic development in Tanzania has appealed to the British Government to discontinue the trophy hunting imports ban Bill because it will harm African people and wildlife.

According to bulawayo24.com, Hurts queried, “Does the UK Government really want to destroy those human lives, let alone the wildlife in these conservancies?” said Mr Robin Hurt of Robin Hurt Safaris, in his appeal asking the British Government to stop the wildlife-harming trophy hunting imports ban Bill. “Safari hunting is a legal and much-valued industry in African countries that allow it, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, South Africa and Mozambique. Namibia alone has over 80 community wildlife conservation projects, all managed by indigenous peoples; that depend 100 percent on safari hunting revenue.”

Mr Hurt’s appeal comes ahead of the Friday 21 January 2022 British parliamentarians’ vote on the animal rights groups fundraising industry-sponsored private members’ Bill to ban trophy hunting imports into the UK, including Africa’s big five [elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo].

Mr Hurt has like other safari Hunting companies operating in Africa, continued to use international hunting revenue to support wildlife and habitat conservation, including socio-economic development in hunting communities.
“I chose to support wildlife and habitat conservation, anti-poaching as well as socio-economic development in Tanzania’s hunting communities where we operate,” he said “Since 2006 we have built 37 schools, 75 teachers houses , 28 medical dispensaries, 34 village government offices, 19 wells and water pumps, 9 water storage tanks and 5 water pipe lines.”

Born in Britain, Mr Hurt who celebrates his 59th season as a full-time professional hunter this year and also his 77th birthday; has lived his whole life in Africa. Although he has British blood in his veins, he is “African at heart” and considers himself African. Robin Hurt Safaris Tanzania is now being run and managed by his sons, Derek and Roger Hurt.

“My sons are both professional hunters who continue enthusiastically with my conservation ideals,” said Mr Hurt.
The Robin Hurt Safaris supports key wildlife and habit conservation as well as community socio-economic projects that include anti-poaching activities such as the collection of steel snares, supporting community game guards, building classrooms, community health programme, bee-keeping, village community banks and education improvement activities.

Mr Hurt said that one of the most important parts of “our anti-poaching efforts is the removal and destruction” of steel snare lines.

“These snares are hugely destructive to wildlife numbers,” he said. “Although the snares are set to catch buffalo and antelope, numerous predators get killed as well. Additionally, elephant and rhino occasionally get maimed by these snares. We estimate that each snare kills an average of 5 animals annually. Since 1986 we have destroyed approximately 60,000 snares. This has saved the lives of approximately 300,000 animals.”

“Robin Hurt, who in my long years in conservation, is probably the single most committed conservationist I know,” said Mr Pabst a German who operates in Zimbabwe’s Sango Conservancy and who has made an immense contribution to wildlife conservation that includes the translocation of 100 elephants using his personal finances.

If implemented, the proposed British Government trophy imports hunting ban Bill would destroy not only the wildlife and habitat conservation gains that Mr Hurt has supported for the past 59 years as a professional hunter; but would also crush the socio-economic development hopes of African hunting communities.

“This ban is an ‘excellent’ idea if destroying our wildlife is what the UK Government has in mind”, said Mr Pabst who warns the British Government that “it is a form of neo-colonialism” if it proceeds with the Bill without conducting site visits to African hunting communities and also without consulting African politicians, chiefs, rural councils, and the local population.

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