Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.-John James Audubon

TOPS Regulations

The Regulations have been finalised and came into effect on 1 February 2008. Our Association’s advice is that hunters should ensure that the farmer where they book a hunt for threatened and/or protected species, is in posssession of the necessary permits.

How does DEAT national legislation work?

  • National Environmental Management Act (NEMA)
    • National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA)
      • Regulations on threatened or protected species (TOPS)
      • Regulations on alien and invasive species (AIS)
      • Regulations on bioprospecting (access and benefit sharing ABS)
    • National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEMPA)
  • Tools provided for in legislation:
    • Norms and Standards (elephant populations, hunting)
    • Biodiversity Management Plans for Species and Ecosystems
    • Bioregional Plans for Bioregions

Purpose of TOPS Regulations:

  • Regulate the permit system set out in Chapter 7 of the Biodiversity Act;
  • Registration of captive breeding operations, commercial exhibition facilities, game farms, nurseries, scientific institutions, sanctuaries and rehabilitation facilities and wildlife traders;
  • Regulate hunting;
  • Prohibit specific activities;
  • Protection of wild populations, in particular cycads; and
  • Provide for a Scientific Authority

Application of TOPS Regulations:

These regulations are only applicable to the TOPS listed species listed as:

  • Critically endangered species (only indigenous)
  • Endangered species (only indigenous)
  • Vulnerable species (only indigenous)
  • Protected species (currently only indigenous species listed but may include alien species).

Date of entry into force of the regulations have been postponed from 1 June 2007 to 1 February 2008
Restricted Activities
A person may not carry out a restricted activity involving a specimen of TOPS without a permit.

Game farmers will register with Parks Board and will then issue the hunter of a TOPS animal, a permit to hunt a species listed under TOPS. (As for animals not listed under TOPS, the status quo remains, where the hunter has to purchase a hunting licence or protected animal permit as he did in the past.)

Which activities are restricted?

  1. hunting, catching, capturing or killing by any means / method / device, searching for, pursuing, driving, laying in wait, luring, alluring, discharging a missile or injuring with intent to hunt, catch, capture or kill;
  2. gathering, collecting or plucking;
  3. picking parts of, or cutting, chopping off, uprooting, damaging or destroying;
  4. importing into the Republic, including introducing from the sea;
  5. exporting from the Republic, including re-exporting from the Republic;
  6. having in possession or exercising physical control over;
  7. growing, breeding or in any other way propagating, or causing to multiply;
  8. conveying, moving or otherwise translocation species;
  9. selling or otherwise trading in, buying, receiving, giving, donating or accepting as a gift, or in any way acquiring or disposing of a listed threatened or protected species (TOPS)

Prohibited Activities No permits may be issued for:

  • Translocation of TOPS species to protected areas from outside natural distribution area;
  • Translocation to extensive wildlife system where possibility of transmitting disease or hybridization;
  • Listed large predators & rhino
    • Captive bred put and take;
    • Hunting in controlled environment;
    • Hunting adjacent to holding facilities for listed large predators;
    • Hunting by using gin traps
  • Poison;
  • Snares;
  • Automatic weapons, .22 rim fire or smaller caliber, air guns;
  • Hunting animals under the influence of tranquilisers;
  • Hunting animals trapped against a fence;
  • Hunting listed large predators, rhino, elephant and crocodile with bow and arrow;
  • No traps, except for:
    • Hunting/catching marine species;
    • Collecting invertebrates for scientific purposes;
    • Trapping terrestrial vertebrates for scientific, veterinary or management purposes;
  • No dogs, except for:
    • Tracking a wounded animal;
    • Flushing, pointing and retrieving;
  • No darting, except for:
    • Management purposes, disease control procedure or scientific experiment;
    • Veterinary treatment;
    • Translocation;
  • No luring (bait, smell, sound or any other) except for:
    • Lion, leopard or hyena – dead bait;
    • Marine or aquatic species – dead bait;
    • Invertebrates for scientific purposes – dead bait;
  • No flood/spot lights, except for:
    • Culling;
    • Hunting leopard or hyena;
  • No motorized vehicles, except for:
    • When darting is required;
    • Tracking when hunting over long ranges;
    • Culling;
    • Allowing a disable person to hunt;
  • No aircraft, except for:
    • Tracking when hunting over long ranges;
    • Culling.

Damage Causing Animals (DCA)
May be hunted (but not by foreign client) by means of:

  • Poison;
  • Traps, except gin traps;
  • Dogs, only to track or flush a wounded DCA;
  • Darting for translocation of DCA;
  • Luring with bait, sound or smell;
  • Motorised vehicle;
  • Flood / spot light.