Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany: “And this is no joke” | Abroad

Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany: “And this is no joke” | Abroad
Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany: “And this is no joke” | Abroad
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Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, is not pleased with the German environment minister’s proposal to tackle the import of hunting trophies. Masisi responds in the media with a counterproposal: he wants to have 20,000 elephants shipped to Germany. And he says he doesn’t want to hear about a refusal.

According to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, a ban on hunting trophies will make the people of Botswana poorer. He claims that the number of elephants in his country has exploded due to conservation efforts. Hunting elephants could keep that growth under control, he reasons. The Germans themselves should “just live with the animals the way you are trying to impose on us,” Masisi told the German newspaper Bild.

Botswana has more than 130,000 elephants, accounting for a third of the world’s elephant population. Elephants live in herds. In this way they cause a lot of damage to property, eat entire crops and trample people, according to Masisi in Bild.

In the past, Botswana has donated 8,000 elephants to countries such as Angola, and hundreds more to Mozambique, all to reduce the population in Botswana. “We would like to offer such a donation to Germany,” the president said. He added that it was not a joke and that he would not accept rejection.

Sustainable and legal

In 2014, Botswana itself banned the phenomenon of trophy hunting – the legal hunting of wild animals such as rhinos, elephants or lions, mainly by tourists, who are willing to pay a lot of money for it. But in 2019, that decision was reversed under pressure from local communities, who saw their income evaporate. Today there are annual hunting quotas to change that again. The country says it strictly controls the licenses of trophy hunters.

Germany is the largest importer in the EU of hunting trophies from African elephants, and of hunting trophies in general, according to 2021 figures from the Humane Society International. Our country, like Australia and France, has banned the trade in hunting trophies. There are also calls in the United Kingdom to restrict the import of hunting trophies. And the German Environment Minister wants to move in the same direction. His spokeswoman, responding to Botswana’s president, said: “In light of the alarming loss of biological diversity, we have a special responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that the import of hunting trophies is sustainable and legal.”

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The article is in Dutch

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