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Judge says KZN wildlife board invalid

Pietermaritzburg - The Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Board was declared invalid by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

Judge Piet Koen said the board had not been properly appointed in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Conservation Act.

The applicants in the case were the Animal Interest Alliance (AIA) and Greytown-based Shemungwe Game Capture organisation.

The main respondent was the MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs.

The AIA's William Horsfield said that only five members had been appointed to the board instead of the mandatory nine.

These orders were suspended for six months on condition that the MEC moved to ensure lawful appointments to the board.

If the MEC failed to comply with this condition within six months the orders would become effective.

The AIA represents commercial animal, bird and reptile breeders, zoos, animal keepers and trainers, and circus operators.

Horsfield said many people keenly interested in wildlife, such as representatives of organised agriculture, traditional leaders, and rural communities, had not been considered for appointment to the board.

He said more wildlife experts had not been appointed to the board, as was stipulated by the KwaZulu-Natal Conservation Act. - Sapa

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