How Can Animal Skin Rugs & Handbags Be “Conservation Friendly?”

Following the furor of the anti-fur campaign it has long been considered politically incorrect to wear wild animal skins. Interestingly, conservation in South Africa has been so successful that it is the ever-increasing number of wild animals themselves that is arguably the biggest threat to their ongoing survival.

When you consider that there are more wildlife in South Africa today than in the past 100 years, it is obvious that control and regulation are imperative.

Increased land use for wildlife conservation

In addition to the growing number of conservation areas set aside by the government, there has also been an unprecedented increase in the number of private game reserves, particularly in the Eastern Cape where over 20% of all land is used for conservation. and the proliferation of wildlife.

The recent trend, unique in South Africa, of former cattle ranchers converting to wild animal farms has only served to exacerbate the problem and tough measures have had to be introduced in an effort to spare the land from overgrazing. It is estimated that over 500,000 hectares are converted from livestock to game every year.

While the vast majority of us hesitate at the takedown suggestion, it has proven to be the most successful game control

Regulated hunting of big game is actively encouraged

Regulated game hunting is also actively encouraged and it is the skins, meat and other body parts of these animals that are legally used to make artificial items such as ostrich skin bags, zebra skin rugs, crocodile wallets and belts. snake skin.

It is also important to keep in mind that the vast majority of conservation-friendly hides and skins come from wild animals bred specifically for their meat and skins. A percentage of the income generated by the culled animal is reinvested in industry and used in conservation programs as well as in the management and maintenance of important wildlife sanctuaries in the country.

Wild animal husbandry on the rise

The live trade in wild animals at legitimate game auctions is an indication of the growth of the wildlife farming industry, and in 2003 nineteen and a half thousand wild animals were sold alive at nearly 60 auctions across the country.

The large sums of money handing over these auctions for so-called rare animals like leopards, lions and cheetahs have had a tremendously beneficial effect on the sustainability of these once endangered species. More and more efforts are being made by wild animal farmers to increase their numbers and therefore their bank balances.

So before throwing all your toys off the cot when you see a fashionable lady slipping in zebra skin shoes, keep in mind that the animal was bred specifically for its flesh and skin or most likely it was supposed to die. for the balance of the greater good.