Question 1:

“The Game Theft Act 105 of 1991 overrides the res nullius common law status of game by conferring ownership on the landowner if the game in question have been adequately enclosed by a game fence.” However, it has been submitted that “climate change has serious implications for continued ownership of escaped wildlife as well as for the implementation of adaptive strategies to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate on fenced wildlife areas.

In this regard, it has further been submitted that “[T]he South African law needs to be revised to protect wildlife owners as the impacts of climate change become evident.”

Source: Blackmore, A. 2020. Climate change and the ownership of game: A concern for fenced wildlife areas. Koedoe 62(1), 2 & 5 (Google Scholar)

The Game Theft Act 105 of 1991 (or “The Act”) significantly impacts the ownership of wild animals and, more specifically, the retention of current ownership of such animals. Critically discuss the impacts of global warming and climate change on wildlife (or game) ownership and provide an opinion on whether the Act adequately takes global warming into account in this regard. In your answer, refer to relevant case law and make recommendations on how wildlife (game) ownership can be protected going forward.

Answers to Above Question on Environmental Law

Answer 1: The game theft act 105 of 1991 has a significant level of impact on the ownership of wild animals and specifically the retention of current ownership of such animals. There are different ways in which the impact of Climate Change on wildlife ownership is evident such as ecological challenges, ownership challenges in the form of wildlife because of changing climate conditions, mitigation challenges etc.


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