THE government has extended the hunting season to a full year, to accommodate tourists who mostly originate from countries that are still grappling with the effects of the Codiv-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) yesterday, Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), Deputy Commissioner for Tourism and Business Services, Imaan Nkuwi, said the hunting season usually begins on July 1 and ends on December 31.
“Most of the hunters are from the US; we are yet to receive them as they have not yet opened their airspace due to coronavirus, We received quite a few guests recently compared to previous years, and thus decided to extend the season,” he said.
Mr Nkuwi explained that once the season ends, the government will review and see if there was a need to restore the original system or not.
According to him, there are a total of 36 companies that own hunting blocks, out of the existing 69 blocks.
Hunting in Tanzania contributes significantly to the conservation of wildlife and the improvement of community livelihood.
The revenue generated from trophy hunting directly supports the efforts of TAWA to manage the whole spectrum of wildlife.
On the game meat business, he said as per instructions issued by President John Magufuli during his tour of Rubondo Island National Park on Lake Victoria last year, the ministry has already issued guidelines.
He named sources of game meat as resident hunting, tourist hunting, wildlife farms, ranches and zoos. Others are culling, cropping as well as problem animals control.
Those interested in the business are required to have a valid licence issued by TAWA.
Whoever wished to acquire a licence will fill forms and submit a business plan related to the proposed business undertaking, including business description such as game meat products, geographical location, design and amenities of game meat selling facility.
“The business plan should provide financial analysis and expected cash flow, anticipated sources of game meat and transaction control mechanisms,” he elaborated.
Mr Nkuwi cautioned that for someone who wants to set up a zoo or ranch, there are variant procedures and people should not mix the two.
Elaborating further, he said due to the sensitivity of the business, the safety of people is of paramount importance and thus the ministry formed a Game Meat Selling Advisory Committee.
He said the committee comprises officials from wildlife veterinary, wildlife management, food and drugs control management and meat inspectors.
As per regulations, he said, they will ensure that before meat is taken into a butcher, it is inspected, against which an inspection certificate is issued and the owner will be required to maintain a registry indicating sources of meat and its quantity.
He said so far they have not issued licences to any dealer as the committee has just been formed; because of the sensitivity of the issue, it was crucial to include specialists from outside the ministry of tourism and natural resources.
“In that regard, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has already appointed a specialist who will ensure that meat served for public consumption meets the require standards,” he noted.