Clean BUFFALO refers to selected disease free buffalo. In Southern Africa diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) are diseases causing great economic losses and subsequently FMD are also managed internationally by the "O I E" - World organization for animal health (www.oie.int). The strict monitoring and protocols to be followed in a FMD zone ensures that diseases are not transferred from one area to another area. Typically 3x zones would exist, the infected zone, the fascination zone and then finally the monitoring zone. Also referred to as the red, yellow and blue zones.
Buffalo and the relevant diseases.
Buffalo in Southern Africa's world famous Kruger National Park are carriers of Foot and Mouth Disease. The BUFFALO do not die from the disease but can spread the disease. Current legislation in South Africa specifically requires BUFFALO to be free / clean of the following diseases before the group or individual animal is moved from its current location:
Foot and Mouth Disease
Wildlife Producers wanting to move BUFFALO will typically quarantine the group of animals, blood samples will be taken and tested for the presence of the above mentioned diseases and the animals will stay in isolation until the results are made available. When animals are declared clean the details of the animals will be taken and recorded by the State Veterinarian Service Department. Micro chips well be installed in the BUFFALO to ensure animals can be traced and identified and traced back to a source when ever more detail on data is required.
Breeding projects came into existence due to the demand by Wildlife Producers for clean buffalo. The Wildlife Industry in South Africa is very well established and species under threat of extinction are bred successfully and other properties are stocked. A very good example of this co operation between government departments and wildlife producers is the White Rhino projects. Today more white rhino is owned by wildlife producers than government institutions.
I do not intend to explain the complete process of taking buffalo and developing a clean herd from it with the relevant phased approach followed in this book. What is more important is to expose our readers to the quality of the BUFFALO available in South Africa amongst clean herds. It is absolute nonsense that South Africa does not have BUFFALO to offer on safari. Numerous buffalo are hunted every year in South Africa with horn size reaching 40 inches and above on regular basis. I am not an advocate of the tape measure club at all. Buffalo hunting is always a privilege and very enjoyable. Professional Hunters will not present inferior quality animals to their clients, it is downright unethical. A person doing so will end up with no client faster than the speed of white light.
Take a look at the photos taken of the breeding herd of Mr. Pieter Oosthuizen in Gravelotte, Limpopo Province of South Africa. All pictures are presented with the kind permission of Mr. Pieter Oosthuizen, and I took all of the pictures.
With permission of Mr. Pieter Oosthuizen, owner of these excellent quality CLEAN buffalo!
I have to add a few comment son the photos above. This is a clean herd of buffalo owned by Mr. Pieter Oosthuizen, from Gravelotte, Limpopo Province, South Africa. He is also the owner of other highly sought after species like white rhino and sable antelope. I took these photographs intentionally to show the fences. In South Africa we do not have the vast open area's of our Northern neighbors. Landowners invest huge amount of money into land and create wildlife producing ranch areas.
From left to right:
The BUFFALO bull on the left shows a heavy set boss. It is a myth that clean buffalo are not producing heavy structured horns. The picture in the middle shows two bulls and a cow on the right hand side. Notice the ear tag in the cow's left ear. Personally I think the authors stating that clean buffalo are not having good horn structure are confused by immature bulls and cows. The bull on the right is still young and already shows very good quality and potential for producing horns above the forty inch mark!
Clean BUFFALO are not domesticated animals! Bank on it and be aware of it. If you act like an fool and try to be brave these BUFFALO will kill you - guaranteed. It must be the second biggest myth going around about clean buffalo. Clean buffalo are not "tame" species. Any procedure performed on these clean BUFFALO is done by a Veterinarian and the animals are put to sleep. As mentioned in another chapter of this book Dr. Paul Meyer works with BUFFALO on a daily basis and he will testify to the temperaments of clean buffalo. There is no question in my mind about taking a client on a Buffalo Safari where it is a clean herd. In fact when I listen to the experiences of other Professional Hunters in neighboring countries it is no option for me to even consider walking around for 11x days not seeing any descent BUFFALO bulls!
Political instability and the ever increasing pressure for land in Africa will ensure that wildlife is desecrated. The days of massive herds of plains game and buffalo are over for good. Initiatives like this one mentioned of Mr. Pieter Oosthuizen on clean BUFFALO will be the only hope for the future. Many parks are poached way beyond sustainability and the will and effort by the powers to be does not exist to control these highly organized poaching efforts. Bush meat is no longer a term used for poaching and senseless killing, sadly it is used to glorify the pathetic food shortages of people in Africa.
We need to develop more breeding facilities for clean BUFFALO projects in order to ensure that the gene pool of the specie is diverse and stays healthy at all times. Do not hesitate to email Dr. Paul Meyer with your questions!
This picture was taken while Dr. Paul Meyer worked on this clean buffalo. (Note the cotton wool in the ears.) I am monitoring the breathing tempo, heart rate and temperature for Dr Paul Meyer. Visit his domain at www.wildlifevet.co.za
African Buffalo, Southern Buffalo, Cape Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo Safari, Buffalo Hunting
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