PHASA's Convention and AGM concluded today with the business part of the Annual General Meeting. During the President's Report, Hans “Scruffy” Vermaak noted that PHASA has applied for Professional Body Status, meaning it will be the only professional hunting association officially recognized by the South African government. Vermaak also highlighted several of PHASA's accomplishment over the past year including providing 12,000 children with schooling equipment and a toy through their partnership with Toys for Africa,
raising R100,000 in pledges at the Heritage Gala dinner, and hiring a capable PR firm to help deliver the pro-hunting message. On the animal rights front, Vermaak urged members “to always maintain the moral high ground” and to never stoop to making “derogatory statements of a personal nature.”
PHASA members were also encouraged to always be diligent and involved in educating the general public about the important benefits sustainable hunting provides wildlife and communities in South Africa. Educating people as individuals on the unparallelled wildlife success story in South Africa will make a difference.
SCI President, Craig Kauffman, brought to PHASA his central theme of leadership and urged every member of PHASA individually and as a collective body to “stand firm” and “remain resolved” as they fight the forces that threaten their way of life and the wildlife of South Africa. In support of SCI's continuing commitment to PHASA and the ongoing fight against the antis, Kauffman presented PHASA with a check for $5,000 from the SCI Foundation for the organization's Conservation & Empowerment Fund.
At the evening's gala event, PHASA President-Elect Hermann Meyeridricks was officially installed as President and¬† PHASA awarded Safari Club International with a Certificate of Support in recognition of SCI's “substantial contribution towards [PHASA's] mission of responsible
hunting for sustainable life and livelihoods.
In the morning, CEO DeLone, John Boretsky and I depart for Harare, Zimbabwe, for the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ) annual meetings.
We look forward to bringing you important updates as they become available.–Scott Mayer