CACH Accused of Harming Conservation

Is the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) a threat to conservation? – You decide!

Three large NGO’s dominate the SA conservation landscape. WWF, EWT, and WESSA (Wildlife and Environmental Society of SA.) All three are pro-hunting, and lobby for the hunting industry. All three do some useful conservation work – but never in any area that will impact adversely on hunting. By Chris Mercer.

My blogpost giving the links to our CACH educational videos was referred by WESSA to their ‘technical expert,’ who wrote a withering criticism, as follows in orange italics. (I post my answers below in black.)

a) “The 2007 video is heavily biased, unfactual, slanderous and emotionally charged. I caution the use of this 2007 video for any kind of educational purposes. (In fact this is exactly the kind of thing that damages the cause of conservation and the reputations of conservation organisations and conservationists!)”

You can watch the 2007 video – only 11 minutes – here and make up your own mind:

b) “Most importantly this video equates all hunting to canned hunting and there is a massive difference between the two. I am of course 100% against canned hunting!”

  1. Check out this 5-min video of typical wild animal hunts and see if you agree that there is a ‘massive difference’ between this and canned hunting:
  2. I wonder if this technical expert realizes what she is saying when she is “100% against hunting tame lions” – but approves of hunting wild lions. Canned hunting is both cruel and abusive but it does not directly affect pride dynamics. We all know by now how damaging trophy hunting is to wild lion prides; how the loss of the pride male leads to chaos, infanticide and supremacy battles. Research by Panthera and others shows that it can take as long as 7 years for the lion pride to recover, and that as many as 20 lions and cubs can die in the upheaval. And this is defended as good conservation by this WESSA ‘technical expert?’

c) “WWF would not openly be supporting the sustainable use of wildlife for the hunting industry as a method for conservation if it did not work.”

Hmnn…let’s analyse this extraordinary sweeping statement. I think the ‘technical expert’ is saying that:

  1. Hunting is good conservation, the implication being that hunters will protect their hunting concessions from poachers.
  2. If hunting was not good conservation, it would not be supported by WWF.

Taking the first point, let’s look at the catastrophic decline in elephant numbers in Selous Game Reserve, where virtually the whole area is under hunting concession. More than two thirds of the second largest elephant population on the planet have been poached in the last four years. And what have the brave hunters done to protect their concessions? Why, instead of turning their guns on the poachers, the brave hunters continue to shoot at the shattered remnants of the declining herds. But don’t believe the inconvenient numbers – just trust the WWF that hunting is good.

Look at the crooked reasoning employed in her second point: that if WWF approves of hunting it can’t be bad. How unscientific! So now conservation is a matter of faith. Just ignore all the facts, the horrendous cruelty, the rapid plunge towards extinction of African wildlife, and just kneel with her at the altar of the WWF, to worship. Does she not know that WWF is primarily a hunting organisation? That it was established by wealthy hunters in order to preserve hunting privileges on a continent which was undergoing de-colonisation? That it will say anything to prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional right to participate in wildlife conservation?
See blogpost ‘WWF – Scaremongers in Conservation below this post on our website:

And a general criticism of WWF:

Who is the greater threat to real conservation, CACH or WWF and its acolytes like this ‘technical expert’?

d) “I did not see the updated version of the canned hunting video …however, it would have to have undergone a massive mind shift in its presentation to have become factual, truly thought provoking and educationally valuable.”

Check out the updated 2014 version – 7 minutes – and decide for yourself if our short video is damaging to conservation or whether you think it is ‘factual, thought-provoking and educationally valuable.’


No wonder SA conservation is such an ugly mess, when anyone who questions the value or acceptability of hunting is treated with arrogant condescension by self-important ‘technical experts.’

No wonder SA conservation services have become a protection racket for the hunting industry. No wonder conservation policies and models are all wrong.

The root of this problem lies with corporate South Africa. Corporate donations lead the way in conservation. Most corporate sponsorship and funding in SA goes to the big three pro-hunting NGO’s, WWF, EWT and WESSA. Until corporate South Africa stops funding the wrong NGO’s, we shall continue to lose our wildlife to wrong conservation policies.

Chris Mercer.
May 2014.


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