The Aldam Game School will see the light on 14 and 15 March this year, following the success of the Aldam Stockman’s School, which takes place in South Africa annually.
The Livestock Registration Federation (LRF), who organises the school, aims to provide a platform for role players in the game breeding industry to expand their knowledge and “to be better at what they are already good at”. The school’s inaugural theme is The South African Wildlife Industry: A future desired position.
“The wildlife industry forms part of agriculture in the same way as normal agriculture activities should form part of conservation. It really is about utilising natural resources in a manner that supports sustainability and improving financial or economic prospects, while upholding the right ethics”, says LRF President Kobus Bester on the school’s website.
The wildlife and game industry has changed tremendously over the past few years, especially around intensified breeding programmes for certain game species. It remains important to understand the needs of the consumer, as well as the affordability of game products, as is the case with all agricultural production systems, Bester adds.
“Whatever is done must make financial sense, the product must be marketed at a value that is higher than the cost to get it to the end producer. Not all animals bred are of trophy quality, but all animals should at least have a meat value.”
Maintaining this value is more challenging than with domesticated animals due to the required infrastructure, expertise and costs involved. Harvesting game for venison, for instance, is done in the veld and not in a controlled abattoir.
Veterinary challenges also abound, and game farmers must be familiar with the legal requirements of the wildlife industry. Managing the genetics of the animals in question is also challenging as tagging animals for proper studbook control and management is not always viable.
In view of these challenges, the Aldam Game School intends to deal with the challenges within the wildlife sector in the correct manner and with the right expertise to ensure that the industry sets specific goals to achieve its future desired position.
Visit the school’s website to learn more about the programme, speakers and other arrangements.
Charmaine Alberts on +2751 821 1783 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.