Thank you for your concern for our Cape Peninsula baboons. The wellbeing and welfare of the baboons is and will always be our top priority.
We wish to clarify that the NSPCA/SPCA has not banned or prohibited the use of paintball guns, but have merely withdrawn our endorsement thereof. The NSPCA/SPCA does not have the legal power to unilaterally ban the use of any instrument or equipment. This can only be done through the Courts. The NSPCA/SPCA however believes the indiscriminate use of paintball guns fired at point-blank range at animals causes unnecessary suffering and therefore constitutes a criminal and prosecutable offence in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962.
The City of Cape Town has been requested on numerous occasions to review the Paintball Gun Standard Operating Procedure and to do so on a regular basis. We recently became aware that an update was made in 2019 without input from either the NSPCA or Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
A method that was reviewed and supported previously may no longer be relevant, appropriate or humane now. The SPCA will not support methods that are considered inhumane and cruel or that have insufficient supporting information. There may be alternative methods that can be used to achieve the same outcome, which has not been explored.
The NSPCA tasked the City of Cape Town with setting up a panel to include interested members of the public, animal rights groups, animal welfare groups, and Cape Nature to discuss a way forward with managing baboons in the Cape Peninsula. We are not aware of any such panel being formed as yet by the City of Cape Town. We do believe that such a panel will only benefit the City of Cape Town’s baboon management program, the baboons and the ratepayers of the City of Cape Town.
Subsequently, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA has called for an urgent meeting with the various role-players, which includes the City of Cape Town, NCC Environmental Services, CapeNature, SANParks and SA Navy.
We hope that the role players will accept the invitation in order for the issues to be resolved and a way pathed to move forward.
The welfare and wellbeing of the baboons are the main priority of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and we do hope that all role players share the same sentiment.
Please see the NSPCA’s media statements on the issue here: