One Rhino Killed every day in May

by SA Tourism news
(23rd May 2012)

Poachers have killed 220 rhinos since the beginning of the year, according to a statement released by the Department of Environmental Affairs on May 21.

Tourism Update reported on May 3 that 199 rhinos had been lost to poaching, meaning a staggering 21 rhinos have been killed in the past three weeks.

The Kruger National Park, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu Natal remain hardest hit, collectively accounting for 207 of the rhinos killed this year.

A total of 146 people have been arrested this year in connection with rhino poaching.

“The department, our provinces and its public entities such as SANParks view this illegal killing of our national treasure in a very serious light and will continue to prioritise our fight against this crime jointly with our security cluster Ministers and their departments,” said the statement.

CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Dr Bandile Mkhize, has proposed the creation of a global central selling organisation of rhino horn in an effort to combat the scourge of rhino poaching, according to a report by The Star.

“We have to try something different, and trading rhino horn is a mechanism I am now prepared to support and argue forcefully for,” he said.

Such a mechanism, said Mkhize, would effectively sell more than the current illegal supply of rhino horn to the trade, at a price that limited demand to a sustainable or current level. Speculative demand would decline, he said, as the outlook would be for regular supplies of horn that would meet market demand. Therefore, there would be less scope for price appreciation.

Sales on an open market would be only to accredited buyers, such as pharmaceutical companies supplying the Far East. Legal horn would be defined as that emanating from natural deaths; those confiscated though court convictions; and those forming part of the existing substantial national stockpile. Horn would be micro-chipped, chemically analysed and certified.

He said it would effectively reduce demand for illegal horn because the traditional medicine market in the Far East would prefer to trade in legal rhino horn.

South Africans are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings, to 0800 205 005

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