Title: National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, (10/2004): Norms and Standards for the management of damage-causing animals in South Africa
Government Gazette Notice: GN 512 in GG 40236 of 30 August 2016
Commencing date: 30 August 2016

The purpose of these norms and standards is to provide for a uniform approach to the application of management interventions relating to damage-causing animals, in order to prevent or minimize damage to live stock or wild animals; cultivated trees, crops or other property; or to prevent imminent threat to human life, with the minimum adverse effect to the damage-causing animal. A “damage-causing animal” means an individual animal or group of animals, as the case may be, that, when in conflict with human activities, there is proof that it causes substantial loss to livestock or to wild animals, causes substantial damage to cultivated trees, crops or other property; or presents an imminent threat to human life.

Furthermore, these norms and standards aim to provide appropriate and effective management interventions or equipment which should be implemented by an adequately trained person or group of persons, organization, registered business, practitioner, conservation authority or issuing authority, and to provide minimum standards to assist the issuing authority in the development of legislation and/ or policies to regulate the management of damage-causing animals, and for the lawful use of methods, techniques or equipment to manage damage-causing.

These norms and standards must be read in conjunction with the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (NEMBA) and apply to the management of any wild vertebrate animal within the Republic of South Africa that causes damage, and which is regulated in terms of the TOPS Regulations (regulations pertaining to threatened or protected species); or provincial biodiversity legislation. These norms and standards do not apply to domestic animals that have become wild or vagrant.

The severity of damage caused by a damage-causing animal must first be determined and an inspection report must be compiled by an official. Based on the information contained in this report, the issuing authority should, depending on the circumstances, propose the most appropriate management intervention, which should, if applicable, include the application of non-lethal management interventions aimed at preventing or mitigating the recurring damage (i.e. live capturing or killing).

Information pertaining to the following aspects is also included in the norms and standards:

  1. Criteria for the translocation of damage-causing animals;
  2. Deterrent methods to manage damage-causing animals (i.e. fencing, collars, herding etc.).
  3. Restricted methods to manage damage-causing animals that require a permit from the issuing authority (i.e. cage trap, poison collar, darting, call and shoot, foothold trap, hounds, poison firing apparatus and denning);
  4. Minimum requirements applicable to the above mentioned restricted methods;
  5. Disposal of carcasses;
  6. Monitoring and reporting; and
  7. Compensation strategy for payment of compensation for damage suffered by a damage-causing animal.

So what for my operation?
Should your operation suffer damage caused by a damage-causing animal, it must be ensured that compliance to these norms and standards is achieved specifically pertaining to the methods to manage these animals. If a restricted method is planned to be used, the relevant permit must be obtained prior to the execution of such method, and compliance must be ensured to the minimum requirements pertaining to the specific method.