SA Wildlife Industry and its Future
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.
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
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.