The safari industry has encouraged the government to review the existing regulations on bow hunting as a sport, stating that this will open opportunities for revenue growth within the sector.

Bow hunting came to an abrupt end in 2015 following the killing of Cecil the lion in July by an American hunter.

Since then, the standing regulation has only allowed bow hunting on a special dispensation  basis.

A statement issued by the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in 2015 stated that bow hunting was suspended with immediate effect and no such hunting will be conducted unless it has been confirmed and authorised in writing by the authority’s Director-General.

While the blanket ban on bow hunting was important in safeguarding the country’s wildlife, developments over the past years have revived calls for the government to revisit the standing statutory instruments on sport hunting.

Recent announcements by the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Oppah Muchinguri that the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has been weaned from government support, coupled with the lucrative opportunities in the sector, have given credence on calls to review this ban, according to the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe President, Mr Emmanuel Fundira.

The country now faces a dilemma to handle the resumption of bow hunting given concerns coming from conservationists, as well as the International Convention on Biodiversity which Zimbabwe is a signatory where the country made a commitment towards the sustainable use of its natural resources.