Government has stopped the European Union’s bid to ban the import of hunting trophies from Zimbabwe with exports of wildlife from the regional bloc expected to soar, a Cabinet minister has said.
This was after Government launched massive campaigns against the ban saying the move had major repercussions on the country’s economy.
The United States of America last year imposed a ban on trophies hunted from the region after the killing of Cecil the Lion by an American dentist, Walter Palmer, and in the last weeks, EU had raised new intentions to ban the importation of trophies hunted from Zimbabwe specifically.
In an interview with The Herald recently, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe had successfully resisted EU’s influence on trophy imports and exports.
“We sent a delegation from the Ministry of Environment including the permanent secretary Mr Prince Mupazviriho, Chief Charumbira and officials from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to EU offices in Zimbabwe as well as their regional offices where they lodged their campaigns against the ban,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe collectively fought on behalf of several other African countries that would be affected by the ban. “We realised that our fight did not just stand for Zimbabwe alone, but we represent other countries in the region like Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana,” she said.
“Several communities and hunters thrive on hunting, which they import across the globe, therefore this proposed ban only meant that EU was literally banning all hunting activities in Africa.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the country had enough wildlife to legally engage in trophy hunting.
“Environment policies require us to have more than 82 000 elephants that we successfully take good care of and as a country we are above that float to sustainably engage in hunting activities,” she said. “What we do not want are people who trade in ivory.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said hunting activities played an important role in sustaining the country’s wildlife engagements. herald