A report by cabinet ministers in Botswana has recommended lifting a four-year hunting ban and the introduction of elephant culling.
After months of public meetings and consultations, the report by ministers also recommends the “establishment of elephant meat canning” for pet food.
The number of elephants in Botswana is estimated to be about 130,000, which some argue is too many for the ecosystem – there is increasing conflict between wildlife and people.
But others say the country’s tourism has grown dramatically since the ban came into place and that lifting it would affect the country’s international reputation for conservation.
Shortly after coming into office in April 2018, President Mokgweetsi Masisi asked ministers to review the hunting ban which was implemented by his predecessor Ian Khama in 2014.
Public meetings were held and organisations, communities and individuals were asked to comment.
But many conservationists are against the idea of culling elephants or hunting them and warn there may be a backlash from international tourists.
Tourism is Botswana’s second largest source of foreign income after diamond mining.
With an election due in October, the government has to balance lifting the hunting ban to win rural votes, against the impact it may have on Botswana’s international reputation as a luxury safari destination.
Please sign the petition asking President Mokgweetsi Masisi NOT to lift the ban on trophy hunting.