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Game On! Understanding the Emerging Game Meat Value Chain in South Africa

August 6, 2021

* Expansion and intensification of game meat production in South Africa is gathering momentum. This is primarily due to efforts by the South African game industry which views expansion and formalization of the game meat value chain to be a good way forward as it faces many challenges and is at a crossroad in 2020. Among the most significant challenges are the collapse in game prices and the economic shut-downs associated with COVID-19.* This report traces the efforts made by the South Africa game sector. It also explains the changes that lead to the challenges experienced by the sector and to an increase in game populations that needs to be dealt with. These reasons and changes are complex. They are related to and intersect with: Game breeding practices, farm conversions and new investment patterns, hunting norms, ecotourism, biodiversity loss, processed game products, and the emergence of community game farms through land reform.* An expanded game meat value chain raises serious concerns for socio-economic development and racial transformation, environmental sustainability, human health and animal welfare. And there are key gaps in the regulatory framework for game meat production. The report highlights these concerns and gaps. It provides six recommendations for front-line persons and policy makers who want to ensure that expansions in game meat production occur in an inclusive, sustainable, safe, and ethical manner.