The use of paintball guns to keep baboons out of residential areas in the city has now been given the go-ahead by CapeNature and the Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
In a statement by the COCT, the temporary reintroduction of paintball markers was informed by the alarming increase in baboon troops in urban areas since May 2021. According to the COCT paintball markers will be reintroduced for a trial period of six months.
“The humane use of paintball markers will be in place while the guidelines for the management of a sustainable baboon population on the Cape Peninsula are being reviewed under the guidance of CapeNature, as the leading authority on animal welfare, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, and other stakeholders,” the statement read.
As reported by News24, the SPCA withdrew its support for the use of paintball guns in May when a young baboon was found dead in Simon’s Town after being shot with a pellet gun. However, statutory authorities and the COCT met on May 26 and June 17 to discuss the impact of the recent withdrawal of the use of paintball markers and to identify the conditions of their use that may be reintroduced by the COCT’s Urban Baboon Programme.
Meanwhile, the SPCA’s Chief Inspector, Jaco Pieterse, indicated that this new operating procedure specified conditions for the humane use of paintball guns while taking the welfare of the baboons into consideration.
Pieterse said although there is no legal power to prohibit the use of paintball markers to deter baboons, shooting at point-blank range at any animal, may cause unnecessary suffering and, therefore, may constitute a criminal and prosecutable offence in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962. Baboon rangers will be trained by NCC Environmental Services to ensure that they know how to use paintball markers in accordance.
Picture: Cape Town etc gallery