Botswana has lifted a ban on elephant hunting, prompting outrage from conservationists.
The African nation, home to the world’s biggest elephant population, has cited growing conflicts between humans and animals as reason to overturn the ban.
Critics of the ban, enforced in 2014, said the animals posed problems to small farmers and to those who previously benefited from hunting.
The conflicts are contributing to destroying farmer’s livelihoods and crops, the Government said.
Dr Paula Kahumbu, an expert based in Kenya. said: ‘The whole world is turning away from hunting.
‘It is increasingly seen as an archaic practice.
‘This is very, very damaging to the image of Botswana as a global leader in elephant conservation.’
🇧🇼👎 Disappointing decision by #Botswana to lift hunting ban and to lift the suspension for #trophyhunting - this bloody sport is #cruel, outdated, unethical and often undermining #conservation 🦁🐘🐆 #elephants #predator #bigcats #Lions #leopards https://t.co/3FyGUYTpGB— Pro Wildlife (@prowildlife) May 23, 2019
The lift follows Botswanian President Mokgweetsi Masisi setting up a committee to review the ban imposed by his predecessor Ian Khama.
The ruling Botswana Democratic party (BDP) are lobbying to overturn the ban, saying numbers of the animals have become unmanageable in some areas.
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In a statement Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism said: ‘The number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing.
‘Predators appear to have increased and were causing a lot of damage as they kill livestock in large numbers before saying the ‘re-instatement of hunting is done in an orderly and ethical manner’.
Botswana has around 135,000 roaming freely in wild parks and open spaces.
Experts believe the population number could have tripled over the last 30 years, which could now be more than 160,000.