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Game meat production on private land in South Africa: current scale and potential for the future




Taylor, Andrew, author
Child, Matthew, author
Lindsey, Peter, author
Davies-Mostert, Harriet, author
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, publisher

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Game meat production is considered one of the four pillars of wildlife ranching in South Africa, with the potential to generate large revenues and contribute positively to food security and job creation. It is very far from meeting its potential, however, with the main reason for this being a lack of an enabling legislation to allow for large scale game meat production. This situation is changing, and as the opportunities for game meat production open up, the wildlife ranching industry is planning the way forward. Based on background information on the sector from available literature, interviews with expert stakeholders, as well as data collected during a survey of 250 wildlife ranchers across South Africa, we examine the current and potential scales of the sector and assess the potential future contribution game meat production could make to food security and job creation. Although there are no accurate estimates of current domestic game meat production for South Africa, anecdotal estimates suggest that 10-20% of meat consumed during the hunting season is game meat, which equates to 45,000-118,000 tonnes. By comparison, our study estimated ~40,000 tonnes of game meat were produced during 2014. With the possibility of a new game meat scheme, domestic production could be increased considerably. Producing sustainable sources of protein in social-ecological systems is also touted as a key intervention to possibly reduce bush meat poaching and biodiversity loss. Generating game meat sustainably may thus be win-win for ecologists and the economy.


Presented at the 9th international wildlife ranching symposium: wildlife - the key to prosperity for rural communities, held on 12-16 September 2016 at Hotel Safari & the Safari Court, Windhoek, Namibia.

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