SA Wildlife Industry and its Future Desired Position

Following the LRF’S success with the Aldam Stockmans School that has been expanded to include small stock as well, it is an honour and privilege for the LRF to be involved in the Aldam Game School.

Part of the aim of the school is to provide the opportunity or platform to improve the knowledge of role players within the industry to be better at what they are already good at. The Wildlife Industry forms part of agriculture in the same way as normal agriculture activities should form part of conservation. It really is about utilizing natural resources in a manner that support sustainability and improving financial or economic prospects while upholding the right ethics.

It is critical to act today after making the right decisions based on the facts and knowledge available today with a specific desired future position in mind.

The Wildlife Industry is loaded with many unknowns, farming practices within this Industry has changed tremendously over the last couple of years, just think of the intensified breeding programmes under which certain (higher value) game species are managed and bred. In any agricultural production system, it is important to understand the needs of the end consumer, also the end consumer’s desire for that product, as well as his ability to afford that product.

What ever is done must make financial sense, the product must be marketed at a value that is higher than the cost to get it to the end producer. Not all animals bred are of trophy quality, but all animals should at least have a meat value. Unlike with domesticated animals, the handling and management of game makes it a challenge, not only because of the infrastructure that is required, but also because of the expertise and cost it involves. Even to harvest game for venison is challenging since it must be done in the veld and not in a controlled abattoir environment.

It is also important to understand that in addition to veterinarian challenges that the game farmer will encounter, he must also be well acquainted with legal aspects regarding the Wildlife Industry. Further it is important to manage the genetics of the animals in a challenging environment where it is not always sensible or financial viable to tag and record animals for proper studbook control and management. Game farming has become an Industry that pose challenges, not previously experienced within normal stock production, and as a result pose new challenges to role players.

It is of utmost importance that the challenges within the Wildlife Industry is dealt with in the correct manner with the right expertise to ensure the right result and the achievement of specific goals aimed at a Future Desired Position, and that is what the Aldam Game School would like to achieve.

 
 
 
    

     Charmaine Alberts
     Tel: (051) 821 1783
     palberts@telkomsa.net
    
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