Namibia’s hunting community forced into secrecy


Janine Avery, The South African

Date Published

See link for photo.  

The country’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has released a memorandum that prohibits the posting of hunted dead animals on social media. 

The memorandum calls the practice of taking pictures of hunters posing with trophies, not of hunting itself, “unethical”, raising concerns as to what exactly the Namibian government is trying to hide.

Despite the Namibian Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) publicly supporting the policy and calling on their members to do the same, the requirement has not gone down well with parties on either side. Pro-hunters have defended their right to market hunts on social media, saying that the statement bows down to anti-hunters while others say that this just allows the MET to conduct a barbaric slaughter of lions and wildlife in secrecy.

The memorandum specifically prohibits hunters with valid permits from posting or sending photographs on public platforms, by making this a permit condition. However, for now, this memorandum appears unenforceable.

The MET tried to pass a similar motion in 2017 which would enforce permit conditions that prohibited all marketing of trophy hunting on the internet. However, this was shot down by NAPHA as they said that “advertising is critical for such businesses”.

The memorandum comes on the back of a social media backlash following the recent killing of another desert-adapted lion by the MET, as well as a number of allegations that members of the ministry are personally pocketing funds from trophy hunting. The killing of the iconic lion, Gretzky, caused a widespread social media call to boycott Namibia as a tourism destination.