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'Hunting is not poaching'

Adri Kitshoff admits trophy hunting is wrong, but says the benefits are good for the ecosystem.

A lion at a Cape reserve. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The CEO of Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa Adri Kitshoff says hunting is not poaching.

Kitshoff spoke to Talk@Nine about the benefits of trophy hunting.

She said game farms that enable hunting have assisted the number of the different species of animals in South Africa to increase.

"Where would the wildlife in South Africa have been if it wasn't managed? For example, in Kenya in 1978 the government placed a blanket ban on hunting and their wildlife dropped by 85 percent."

Kitshoff added there's an assumption that when one trophy hunts animals they leave the carcass behind.

"There are 9,000 foreign hunters visiting the country and in 2011 they hunted 48,000 animals. The role that hunting plays in food security is something people must take note of," she said.

Asked if there is anything morally wrong with hunting for sport as opposed to hunting out of necessity for food, Kitshoff admitted it was wrong, but added hunting isn't a spectator sport.

"We want to educate people about the role that hunting plays. The goal is to get a one shot kill. They practice so they can be ready physically and mentally."

OUTRAGE TO TROPHY HUNTING

Meanwhile, last week US trophy hunter Melissa Bachman posted pictures of her kills on Facebook.

People on social media responded with shock and anger.

Since then, aChange.org petition, which has received over 135,000 signatures, asked the South African government to deny Bachman's entry into the country.

Some tweets disapproving and approving of trophy hunting:

Absolutely disgusted with Melissa Bachman hunting bimbo is a disgrace, killing defenseless wild animals you should be ashamed.

Melissa Bachman's Lion Kill has probably done more for conservation of African wild animals than anything else... http://t.co/e8YAYGZv8f

Melissa Bachman is disgusting. Killing animals for sport? And not just deer, I mean lions. Just for fun. You are horrible.

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