Giraffe Reflection

Given that South African Giraffe are Not Endangered, Suggest a Management Practice that Facilitates the Harvesting of Giraffe Meat for Local African Tribes


Giraffes are one of Africa’s most iconic species. With their long necks, variegated patterns, and goofy faces, it is easy to see why these animals are a beloved species. Luckily for them, giraffes are not endangered, which means that their populations are at healthy numbers. While this alone does not substantiate any means of transforming giraffes into a livestock industry, it does suggest that with careful planning, giraffes could possibly be a reliable meat source for local Africans in the future.

          First, biosecurity must be implemented first and foremost. It is important to monitor giraffes for parasites or other pathogens that would be deadly to humans. While raising giraffes for the purpose of meat consumption is a great idea, a viral pathogen or a deadly parasite that has infiltrated the giraffe population will render their meat null and void. In a place like Africa, an incapacitating virus is the last thing the tribes need.

          Second, population capacity must be precisely calculated. This should take into consideration the area of the land, food sources, weather, as well as their natural predators in the wild. Other facets that should also be taken into consideration is the type of giraffe sub species, as requirements may be different for each sub species. While expensive, I’ve come to learn that stressed animals often create more problems.

Last, the giraffes should be slaughtered in a humane way. I believe that for the Western part of the world to see past the initial image of the “giraffe harvesting,” and recognize the benefits of harvesting for local Africans, the giraffes should be slaughtered humanely. This can be done by adapting the Human Slaughter Act from America, into Africa. We’ve seen evidence of the influence the West has on African legislation, (the UN especially) and to me, I believe that if giraffe farming is deemed unethical, immoral, or inhumane, I believe the West’s influence will trump the needs of the African tribes.