South Africa Imposes New Regulations for Elephant Population Control

February 26, 2008

South Africa recently decided to reverse a 1995 ban on killing elephants in order to help control the nation’s expanding elephant population.

In addition, South Africa is also considering use of animal contraception and forcing the elephants to migrate to different locations.

The South African plan is not clear as to if the culling will be done by paid shooters, or sportsmen.

Animal rights activists are extremely angry about the ban’s reversal. One animal rights group called Animal Rights Africa claims killing elephants is “undeniably cruel and morally reprehensible.”

The South African government has imposed several regulations for taking elephants, which will be official on May 1. Elephants must be killed using “quick and humane methods and a rifle with minimum caliber of .375.”

Problems arise with other forms of population control according Bob Scholes, lead author of the Elephant Management Regulations. Contraception makes females go into heat more often (every four months as opposed to once every four years). This would mean more frequent copulation despite birth control measures.

The other alternative posed by animal rights activists would be moving the elephants to different locations. This would be an undeniably hefty price tag for the South African government.