To cull or not to cull?
It is a subject that causes heated debate and one that has been discussed to some length in the thread "Hwange's Dilemma"
Yet, whereas the issue of culling elephant in one of Africa's National Parks brings howls of protest from all corners of the globe, the regular cull of other species, in the very countries where the loudest voices are raised on all subjects to do with Africa, seem to attract far less attention. Yes there is some local outcry, but it does not seem to be of interest to anyone outside the countries where it is taking place.
Yellowstone National Park is proposing to reduce its celebrated bison herd by 1,000 animals this winter by rounding up those wandering into adjacent Montanaand delivering them to Native American tribes for slaughter, officials said on Wednesday.
The longstanding but controversial annual culling is designed to lessen the risk of straying Yellowstone bison infecting cattle herds in Montana with brucellosis, a bacterial disease carried by many bison, also known as buffalo.
A few weeks ago a friend mentioned to me that Brumbies, Australia's wild horses (more accurately feral), are culled on a regular basis. Link to just one article
A fight is brewing over the future of thousands of wild horses in Kosciuszko National Park, with increasing pressure on the New South Wales Government to embark on a controversial culling program.
An estimated 6,000 brumbies run free in NSW alpine areas, a number that has tripled in the past 12 years, and senior rangers told the ABC they were losing the battle to control the growing numbers.
Rangers are currently restricted by law to only trapping and relocating feral horses out of the park.
It's not sustainable for us to sit back and not try and manage the horse population to protect the natural values of Kosciuszko. It's a really special place.Tom Bagnat from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Tom Bagnat, who oversees the horse management control plan for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), said rangers needed more options.
"We're now in a situation where over one third of Kosciuszko has horses in it, and they're increasing in number," Mr Bagnat said.
"We have to end up with some more control measures on the table for us, because trapping and re-homing - moving horses out of the park - is just not keeping pace with the growth in the population."
Here in the UK, celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon of protest against a national badger cull. badgers are believed by farmers to be a serious pest and spreader of disease.
All these proposed culls are seen as a last resort.
All are being proposed by the authorities charged with the responsibility of maintaining a particular habitat.
Yet whilst all these culls do provoke some domestic protest, that protest very rarely spreads beyond national boundaries.
Why is Africa different?
Why does the suggestion of a cull in Africa stimulate howls of protest from all corners of the globe?
How would Australians feel if Kenyans started a campaign to protest against the Brumby cull?
How would Americans feel if Tanzanians swamped the Twittersphere with protests against the proposed bison cull?
I am not a proponent of culls. I do not have the expertise to say whether they are right or wrong. But why do people all over the world feel that their views on the management of wildlife in Africa must be taken into consideration?
Edited by Soukous, 19 November 2015 - 11:15 AM.