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City withdraws paintball markers as aversion tool <p>​Earlier today, 14 May 2021, the City has advised NCC Environmental Services who is contracted to manage the City’s Urban Baboon Programme to no longer use paintball markers as an aversion tool in keeping baboons out of the urban area.</p><p>This instruction follows after the NSPCA’s media announcement on 12 May 2021 that it no longer supports the use of paintball markers as a scientifically proven and humane aversion tool. </p><p>Paintball markers have been successfully used by the City’s Urban Baboon Programme since 2012 as a humane aversion tool to keep baboons out of urban areas up to 95% of the time. The use of paintball marking contributed to the recovery of the baboon population during this period and the reduced incidence of unlawful killing of baboons. </p><p>Impact on residents and businesses<br>Given the latest developments, residents and business owners from areas adjacent to baboons’ natural habitat should please note that baboons will frequent their areas more often than before. </p><p>It is advisable to enclose vegetable gardens and composting areas, not to leave food for pets outside and also to store refuse bins where baboons cannot gain access. Residents should also keep doors and windows closed and locked when baboons are nearby.</p><p>‘The City asserts that baboons must remain in their natural habitat as far as possible. Keeping baboons out of urban areas reduces their risk of death and injury by other human induced means, such as car accidents, poisoning, or unlawful killings, and attacks by dogs. </p><p>‘However, seeing that the NSPCA does not recommend alternative aversion tools, it is unclear how baboons can be encouraged not to enter urban areas in future. I therefore want to advise residents to please take the necessary precautions as far as possible,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.</p><p>Review of Urban Baboon Programme<br>The City will review the terms and conditions of the three-year contract with NCC Environmental Services. To date, this contract has been aligned to the various permits and approvals including the humane use of paintball markers as an aversion tool.</p><p>The Programme also includes education around waste management and limiting food attractants, the enclosure of vegetable gardens and composting areas, and the baboon proofing of residences. These aspects of the Programme will continue until further notice.</p><p>‘I want to reiterate that the withdrawal of paintball markers as an aversion tool will have an impact on the properties and lifestyle of residents living in areas close to baboons’ natural habitat. We will also have to consider withdrawing the baboon rangers from these areas given that there are no alternative tools available to them to keep baboons out of the urban environment,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.</p><p>The City is awaiting guidance from the Provincial Government and SANParks as conservation falls within their mandate and functions.</p><p>The NSPCA as an organisation concerned with animal welfare also has the statutory duty to assist, or lead a consultative process on the management of baboons.<br></p>2021-05-13T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#90bf4d62-d019-4c53-9f17-6f203b605971;L0|#090bf4d62-d019-4c53-9f17-6f203b605971|baboon management;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10

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