In a follow-up to a report last week concerning a planned cull of hippopotamus in the Luangwa River Valley of Zambia due to “potential future anthrax spread”, the wildlife conservation organization, Born Free reports the Zambian government has suspended the cull.
According to the wildlife charity, the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) suspended the cull, which started last month, to allow for further consultation with stakeholders.
Born Free President and Co-Founder, Will Travers OBE, stated: “Leaving aside the ethical dimension – whether it is morally acceptable to kill hundreds of healthy animals to prevent a possible future outbreak of a disease – other important questions remain to be answered. Is there an overpopulation of hippo and on what is this evaluation based? Is culling an effective anthrax control strategy and, again, where is the evidence?”
Though the cull was reportedly sanctioned by DNPW as a ‘wildlife management tool’ to prevent the possible future spread of anthrax among wild animals (although, for the first time, the DNPW is now claiming low river levels as a justification), the killing was opened up to non-Zambian trophy hunters. A five-year hunting contract had been awarded to Mabwe Safaris, and was being marketed by a South African hunting company called De Marillac Safaris.