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Botswana to start issuing trophy hunting licences in December

Botswana has fended off criticism of lifting a hunting ban, saying it would not threaten the elephant population © AFP / MONIRUL BHUIYAN

GABORONE, Nov 19 –

“Quotas will be issued by December 2019 to allow for marketing ahead of the 2020 hunting season,” Masisi said in his first state of the nation address since he was elected into office following last month’s polls.

“It is expected that hunting will contribute significantly to reducing the human-wildlife conflict by creating viable and balanced populations,” he said.

Masisi said his government is developing guidelines “to provide direction on hunting,” he added.

The commercial hunting season opens in April.

In an interview with AFP in October, Masisi defended his decision to remove the ban on hunting saying Botswana has a capacity to carry “50,000 (elephants) and we have in excess of 130,000”.

In an interview with AFP last month, Khama called Masisi’s decision to lift the ban as “short-sighted”.

“He thought he would be popular,” said Khama.

“When you have a resource, even if it’s diamonds, the more you have the better and that’s the approach we took with wildlife, that here is a resource that we have, so let us grow the resource, make it viable,” added Khama.

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Khama said tourist numbers had declined 15 percent since the ban was lifted.

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