The Effects of Veterinary Fences on Wildlife Populations in Okavango Delta, Botswana
PublisherInternational Journal of Wilderness; http://ijw.wilderness.net/
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This article examines the effects of veterinary fences on wildlife populations in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using data from secondary data sources, findings indicate that the existence of veterinary fences in the Okavango Delta contributes to the decline of wildlife species in Botswana. Veterinary fences are erected to control the spread of livestock diseases in order to protect the European Union beef market where Botswanaâ s beef is largely exported. Migratory wildlife species such as wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, and tsessebes have their migratory routes blocked by veterinary fences and hence die from dehydration and entanglements in the fence. Those that get trapped by the fence often become easy kill targets for poachers. Some of the animals have been observed walking along the fence trying to cross. The erection of veterinary fences indicates that the expansion of livestock production into wildlife areas threaten the survival of wildlife in Botswana. To address the problem, an integration of wildlife production with other sectors such as agricultural development should be made a priority at national and local policy levels. This means that the principles of sustainability should be given priority in the erection of veterinary fences in wildlife areas.
- Research articles (ORI)