Illegal hunting with dogs ‘out of control’

Illegal hunting with dogs on private property is getting out of control, agricultural union TLU SA has warned.

“This situation creates a huge problem for livestock and game farmers, as no farmer can allow his animals to be wiped out in this cruel way,” said TLU SA Free State chairperson Bertus van der Westhuizen.

“Dogs are cruel hunters, and snatch chunks of meat from live prey, until the animal is so weakened by pain that he can no longer flee. When the hunter or hunters then appear on the scene, this animal is often slaughtered with axes. No farmer sees this way of hunting as a sport or entertainment and will certainly resort to controlled violence to protect his animals from this practice.”

Endangered species such as steenbokkies are in danger of extinction through such hunting, TLU SA said.

According to Van der Westhuizen, it is essential for the police to view the crime in a more serious light, and to do more to stop this practice.

“There is great potential for conflict in this crime. Not only conflict between communities, but also between farmers and the police themselves.”

Van der Westhuizen says TLU SA’s Free State branch takes a strong stand against this cruel practice of hunting and makes a serious appeal to the police and the judiciary, to assist farmers in their fight against this crime rather than to try to make them criminals. Farmers in fact want to strengthen the police’s hand in the fight against illegal hunting.

“TLU SA Free State appeals not only to our members, but to farmers from across the country not to allow this type of crime on their land and to fight it within the rules of law. If it is not addressed quickly, the practice will have a devastating effect on our wildlife and tourism industry.”

He suggests farmers keep a thorough record of the time, police officer’s name and how long you wait for follow-up and assistance when the case is reported.

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