The NSPCA has received numerous complaints from the public regarding a church, known as the Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk (APK) for hosting an annual hunting competition known as the 2022 Kerk McNAB for the purpose of raising funds for the church.
The NSPCA is also aware of a Maroela Media article wherein the APK Church claims that the NSPCA has ‘approved’ of this hunt. The NSPCA places on public record that this is false information. The NSPCA has not supported, approved or permitted this hunt whatsoever.
The NSPCA has contacted the North West Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism (DEDECT) and the APK church with a number of questions in terms of interconnecting animal welfare and conservation related questions, but have not received any feedback from DEDECT, whilst the church has provided insufficient feedback.
The APK church fundraising method requires supporters to pay the church a R2000 entry fee per team of 2 hunters to hunt black-backed jackal, caracal, warthog, porcupine, guineafowl and pheasant. Ironically, the prizes up for grabs include even more hunting opportunities- one of which includes the hunting of two lions.
The church has tried to absolve itself of its responsibility in stating that the organisers of the event have nothing to do with the hunt itself. In essence, the church is happy to take the money for the hunt, but because the hunt doesn’t take place on the church grounds, they believe they are not involved. According to the response received from the APK church from an unknown person, it was stated among others that –
“Every team will hunt on their own discretion, legally on a hunting farm of their own choice, the hunt itself doesn’t have anything to do with the organizers”.
“Each team will have to shoot one of each animal in 24 hours”.
“It will be mainly male animals an the reason is that some are weight and some measured and only males will count because the will measure much more than females”.
“The prices are all sponsored”.
“Animals to be hunted as prices are all on hunting farms with the legal permits to do so”.
“It is handled by the them and not us”.
The church has failed dismally at seeing the moral and ethical dilemma of their fundraising initiatives when there are so many other viable options to raise funds. Some of the animals to be hunted will not even be eaten, which means the hunt is purely based on entertainment.
The sustainability of such a hunting competition is also questioned both from an animal welfare and conservation conscious perspective. To date, a range of the NSPCA’s questions to both DEDECT and the APK church remain unanswered ranging from permitting requirements; prohibitions; DEDECT’s oversight; the welfare of the dependant young of the black-backed jackal and female caracals; the skill set and experience of hunters; rules of the McNAB hunt; responsibility with regards to wounding of an animal; etc.
The NSPCA deems this form hunting as unethical, pointless, and devoid of the duty of care and responsibility towards broader biodiversity conservation efforts, especially lead by a church that serve as religious leaders in their respective communities.
A desperate need exists for a positive human-nature based relationship, including taking responsibility for the underlying cause of the environmental crisis more broadly.