Across South Africa baboons are killed on a daily basis. These intelligent primates are offered little or no protection in law and land owners frequently use lethal management as a quick, cheap resort to "get rid of the problems". Killing baboons is not an ethical, effective long term measure. Baboon Matters Trust aims to ensure that municipal by-laws are promulgated in Cape Town and that South Africa's national biodiversity laws are improved to provide protection for primates nationally.
Throughout South Africa baboons are considered to be "damage causing" animals. Although it has been proven that lethal management does not provide long term solutions and that effort needs to be placed in mitigating the damage, it is simply too easy for land owners to kill baboons. Collectively NGOs and civic groups are demanding change, there is an urgent need to change outdated laws and focus attention on education and training of best practise to reduce baboon human conflicts ethically.
The project will generate awareness and support through a positive campaign with the purpose of bringing all stakeholders together to workshop solutions, focus collective attention on producing by-laws and changes for national government so that it will become illegal to kill primates. The combination of a legal framework, together with mass public action will ensure that by-laws are implemented and landowners encouraged and made to utilise effective methods to prevent damage caused by baboons.
Positive campaigning, workshops and public participation will result in the presentation of acceptable by-laws to the City Cape Town by the end of 2019. Engagement with national ministers to start the process of drafting changes to national law will begin. In urban areas implementing by-laws will result in immediate improvement to waste management and reduction in baboon/human conflicts. In agricultural areas the focus will be on constantly improving methods so that baboons do not raid crops.
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