Written evidence submitted by Mr Jonathon Crisp (AAB0006)
There are numerous examples around the world which provide evidence that sustainable hunting can be the very reason that a species survive, the money which is paid by the hunter to hunt the animal which is normally an old male of the species is then used by the local community to fund things from schools to poacher patrols. Without these hunter pounds/dollars these animals are often be shot, trapped and poisoned by poachers or locals as the animals have no value to them, in some cases being treated as pests damaging valuable food crops and putting at risk the fragile survival of the local people.
A well documented species which has seen the benefits of sustainable hunting dollars is the Markhor in Pakistan which in 1993 had in the region of 275 animals, through the forward thinking of the government of Pakistan they allow a number of old male goats to be sold each year to hunters, according to recent surveys the population has grown to in excess of 3,500 animals. The hunters buy a licence and pay a hunting fee, 80% of this hunting fee is then passed back to the local community with recent licences selling for up to $110,000 USD. Licence fees have also been used fund infrastructure such as roads and bridges in the local area to help the villages.
This is only one example of numerous cases throughout the world where sustainable hunting is helping to protect, conserve and in fact grow the numbers of the species. Who are the UK government to tell other countries how to manage their natural resources, when we as a country have said that it is beneficial to run a railway line through 130 protected wildlife sites, just to save 29 minutes on the journey from London to Birmingham.
As a hunter who manages deer on a number of wildlife sites in the east of England I have friends from overseas who come to hunt with me, not on a commercial basis, but as friends enjoying the culture and experience of hunting in the UK and all that it has to offer, I hunt with them also in their respective home countries, seeing and enjoying the different cultures. Yes if we are successful, we will take some animals which could be described as trophies, but these animals are only available for the hunter because of good management of the species on the ground. When I look at the animals I have in my collection I do not see trophies, but see memories of trips with friends which can only happen though the sustainable management of the animals, which if hunters didn’t manage and finance probably wouldn’t be in such a good position as they are.