GOVERNMENT last year realised more than K16 billion from hunting licences, Parliament heard yesterday.
Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo said in the 2011 hunting season, 3, 807 animals were hunted under resident hunting while 2, 468 under non-resident were hunted.
This gave a financial value of K2.1 billion from resident hunting against K14.4 billion from non-resident hunting.
She said in a ministerial statement that more animals under the resident hunting category were hunted at low prices to the extent of threatening animal populations as compared to relatively fewer animals under non-resident hunting.
"This unbalanced way of hunting encouraged corruption in the entire business of resident hunting, a vice that must be arrested at all costs," Ms Masebo said.
She said the granting of resident hunting licences for the 2012 hunting season was partially suspended because the process was abused as some hunters ended up hunting more animals than what was allowed on a particular licence.
Ms Masebo said the development occurred due to few numbers of Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officers to carry out inspections.
"Furthermore, some resident hunters have resold their licences to foreigners for more money, depriving Government of the much needed revenue for effective wildlife management," she said.
She said the partial suspension was in recognition of contributions made by local communities in the Game Management Areas (GMAs).
"It must be made clear that what has been suspended is the extension of the issuance of the resident hunting licences to citizens and established residents living outside GMAs," she said.
The minister, however, said residents were free to hunt under the non-resident hunting category.
During the period of partial suspension, Ms Masebo said resident hunters were free to hunt in the private game ranches.
She said the partial suspension would help the ministry determine a sustainable way forward during the policy review process which was currently in progress.
ZAWA had been granting resident hunting licences for the past 12 years on an annual basis.
Ms Masebo also told the House that ZAWA owed about K2 trillion to various institutions in form of statutory obligations.