BAN THE SOUTH AFRICAN DOMESTIC TRADE IN RHINO HORN
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On the 5th April 2017 South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa announced that she planned to permit the trade in rhino horn domestically and to allow the export internationally of Rhino Horn for 'personal purposes'.
She chose the option to trade in rhino horn instead of re-instituting the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn in the correct procedural manner.
The South African Government has in the past been accused and found guilty of corruption at the highest levels. Informed conservationists feared that the implementation process of the proposed permits for trade will be less than perfect.
The rhino horn farmers have complained that they have had difficulties with obtaining permits that they have been stymied by the South African government and the bureaucracy of the CITES system.
Conservationists have been asking the South African government to release official poaching statistics for six months. They were released and do not reflect any improvement regarding the rhino poaching crisis. Poaching figures may be less in the Kruger National Park BUT that is a result of fewer rhino being available to poach.
Rhino in South Africa are facing extinction. Conservationists have confirmed their own figures that on average three rhino per day are losing their lives to rhino poachers. The opening of the domestic trade of horn has not slowed the extinction of this iconic species.
The South African Government are curators of an enormous Rhino Horn stockpile. The black market value of Rhino horn is £51 000 per kilogram. This black market value makes Rhino Horn more valuable than Gold, Platinum for Diamonds per gram.
At CoP17 held in Johannesburg in October 2016 the international community voted overwhelmingly AGAINST the trade in Rhino Horn. The rhino horn farmers will be encouraging the South African government to apply to legalize the international trade in rhino horn at CITES CoP18 in Sri Lanka in May 2019.
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