Save South African Primates

Protective laws urgently needed to save South African wildlife.
We the undersigned call for more protective legislation for South Africa's primates and other species commonly considered to be "problem animals" to the farming and forestry sectors.

Thank you for your interest and support....



In order to halt the ongoing eradication of South African primate populations (the Chacma Baboon and Vervet Monkey), new laws that protect primates from being indiscriminately hunted are urgently required; Baboons and Vervet Monkeys after many years of being persecuted as "problem animals%u2019 or vermin -  should by now have more protection as provincial authorities were required to redraft legislation in accordance with N.E.M.B.A %u2013 National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 2004 - requirements. However it is now 2008, and these primates are still treated as "vermin" in spite of their dwindling numbers and ongoing troop structure damage bought about by humans.

Both the Vervet Monkey and Chacma baboon are listed on C.I.T.E.S Appendix 2, yet our indigenous primates are not monitored in South Africa and still face a slow eradication. There are less than 120 mature individuals left on the Cape Peninsula.

While the N.E.M.B Act aims to bring about protection of biodiversity, the hunting laws still in existence, presently allow indiscriminate killing. Landowners, their employees and family in the Western Cape may "hunt" all protected game without licence or permit subject to the season, daily bag and degree to which prohibited hunting measures are suspended. Ten primates a day are allowed to be shot.

Holders of an annual hunting licence legally do the same. We need laws that will protect all free roaming species before it's too late.

Please sign and comment on this urgent petition.

BACKGROUND DETAILS; Although this is specific to SA, targeting our tourist industry is important with regard to pushing for changing laws.

THE N.E.M.B act %u2013 2004 - is a framework aiming for biodiversity in South Africa; the sustainable survival of botanical and zoological species in the ecosystem in conjunction with the fair and equatable utilisation therof by humans. N.E.M.B.A required provinces to present Biodiversity plans and redraft Conservation laws in accordance with their requirements which were expected to be implemented in 2007. In 2008, the reality if that these primates still have no protection and are being persecuted. Big business - S.A pine plantations, the farming/agricultural sectors, Bio medical reasearch or South Africa' Polo Fields are good examples whereby our primates are treated in an "inhumane manner" While today, hundreds of baboons have been killed by alien pine plantation owners (KOMATILAND FORESTS) for stripping bark, polo field owners - multi millionaires - shoot baboons instead of emplying baboon chasers or some other non lethal method to chase baboons away when they seek out the horses food.

Protected species are not immune to being persecuted under the hunting laws. The hunting laws - The Hunting proclamation 2008 - like the legislation before it - does not adhere to the requirements of N.E.M.B.A %u2013 nor does it acknowledge endangered status outlined by C.I.T.E.S (Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species) in that it allows landowners, farmers, employees and families to hunt species in a manner that does not protect them in the interests of bio-diversity and continues to place our wildlife and their habitats at severe risk.

 Farmers/pine plantation owners etc. are given the right to exterminate species at the expense of environmental conservation. For example, primate populations and troop structures appear to have been severely damaged in most provinces as a result of inadequate legislation. Caracal, bushpigs and others who are nocturnal, rarely seen by humans and even less understood, continue to be persecuted relentlessly. This hunting proclamation has focussed on the hunting of free roaming wildlife and actively promotes the extermination of species regarded by farmers as %u201Cproblems%u201D. (Some mammal examples of species considered to be a problem to farmers are the Vervet Monkey, Bushpig, Baboon, Porcupine, Caracal, Jackal and Leopard). These populations have not been monitored and remain unknown although some may be heading towards extinction.

With hundreds of primates a year being orphaned after farmers have shot their mothers, being injured on our roads, being poisoned, electrocuted and captured for research for muthi, our primate rehabilitation centres are experiencing increasing difficulty. There are too few safe habitats to release along with other bureaucratic obstacles; there is a backload of primates held in these centres without much hope for freedom in the near future unless the laws change to provide adequate protection. Although this petition specifically aims to help our primates - who are increasingly adapting to sharing their habitats with people - it's ultimate goal is to seek protection for all species perceived to be a 'problem%u2019 who have been tainted by human intervention due to the ongoing encroachment of human development on their territories.

 Please take the time to visit the petition, read it through and sign for changing laws that will offer utmost protection and biodiversity and halt our declining wildlife populations. (Anyone needing more detail on these laws, please contact me)
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