Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

NSPCA withdraws support for paintball gun use on baboons

By Lisa Isaacs Time of article published May 13, 2021

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Cape Town – The City says it will have to review its contract with its Baboon Management Programme service provider following the announcement by the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) yesterday that it has withdrawn support for the use of paintball guns to keep baboons out of urban areas.

The NSPCA earlier this month said they were reviewing information on the use of paintball guns after receiving images of animals left with injuries as a result of the practice.

“For many years, paintball guns have been used as a deterrent, however, times have changed and technology has evolved,” the organisation said yesterday.

“Just because a practice was conducted years ago does not mean it should be continued today, especially when there may be alternative methods that can be used to achieve the same outcome.

’’There are also no comparable deterrent practices against which anyone can measure the effectiveness of paintball marking.”

The NSPCA said in conjunction with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, it has tasked the City with setting up a panel to include interested members of the public, animal rights groups, animal welfare groups as well as Cape Nature to discuss a way forward.

Any cruelty complaints regarding the use of paintball guns can be reported to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, they added.

The City said the NSPCA’s decision placed itself and other stakeholders in a difficult position.

“Keeping baboons out of urban areas reduces their risk of death and injury by other human induced means, such as car accidents, or unlawful killings, and attacks by dogs,” the City said.

The killing of a juvenile male baboon from the Waterfall Troop in Simon’s Town last week is a case in point, they added.

The juvenile male baboon was found dead in a garden of a resident, with the cause of death confirmed as a pellet wound to the chest.

“We now have to consider withdrawing the baboon rangers from the areas adjacent to the baboon troops’ natural habitat as there are no alternative tools available to them to keep baboons out of the urban environment,” the City said.

The City added that a panel to discuss the management of baboons would be for the Provincial Government and SANParks to undertake.

Cape Times

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