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A hunting ban in Tanzania would be detrimental to conservation in the country and will not decrease poaching, according to the Tanzania Professional Hunters Association (TPHA).
Responding to reports that the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) has called for a ban of hunting, Michael Angelides, TPHA Secretary General, said a large amount of foreign income is generated by the hunting area, which supports conservation and anti-poaching. He also argued that the presence of hunting companies hunting concessions acts as a deterrent to poachers, as well as other illegal activities including logging and farming safeguarded areas.
The East African reported earlier this month that TATO has called for a ban on hunting to combat poaching.
According to the report, TATO Chairman Willy Chambulo said in light of the poaching crisis, trophy hunting was not practical, adding that for every animal legally hunted, another was poached; resulting in thousands of animals killed every year. “[N]o one can tell if the bullet killing our elephants comes from professional hunters or from poachers. In this situation, it is difficult to control poaching,” Chambulo is quoted as saying.
When contacted by Tourism Update, TATO said given the “sensitivity and gravity” of the matter, the association was unable to comment. While TATO would neither confirm nor deny calling for the ban, the association said it would continue to raise awareness about the poaching situation.
TATO Council Member, Sam Diah is quoted in eTurboNews as saying that Tanzania’s government should substitute trophy hunting with photographic undertakings.
While the eTurboNews report suggests that TPHA has proposed hiking in park fees in response to the call for a ban on hunting, TPHA has rubbished this claim.
According to TPHA, the proposed park fee increases are only for parks in Tanzania’s Northern sector, which TATO has suggested are overcrowded. TPHA has suggested increasing fees for this sector in order to maintain tourist numbers and protect the environment, while encouraging travel to the Southern Circuit.