Hon. Ministers Pohamba Penomwenyo Shifeta and John Mutorwa,
I urge the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, as well as all relevant local and national Namibian authorities, to investigate the brutal killing of a leopard documented in this video, which allegedly took place on the Okamumbonde farm located east of the Waterberg Plateau National Park run by Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
The killing of this leopard lasts for several minutes, during which time attacking dogs rip flesh from the animal while he is still alive and a group of up to four men stand watching and laughing. The men then take turns beating the leopard with large sticks, while the dogs continue the attack. The violent assault ends when one man bludgeons the leopard's head with an axe handle continuously for more than 40 seconds and kills the animal.
It is likely that the leopard was killed because he was deemed a "problem-causing" animal. If the cruel and protracted killing of the leopard involved illegal conduct, I call on you to bring all perpetrators to justice. However, if the shocking conduct depicted is in fact legal and permitted under Namibia's laws, I call for urgent amendments to the Nature Conservation Ordinance, and other relevant laws and regulations, to ensure that:
a) cruel killing methods such as trapping, poisoning, hunting with dogs, bludgeoning, or those that otherwise cause unnecessary suffering, are outlawed.
b) robust procedures are put in place and enforced to ensure that animals targeted as "problem-causing" are a genuine and proven threat to human or animal life.
c) all alternative means of non-lethal mitigation are first considered prior to lethal measures, which should only serve as a last resort.
d) if killing is deemed absolutely necessary, the method must be humane and without the use of trapping, poisoning, dogs, use of blunt force, or methods that otherwise cause unnecessary suffering.
Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter,