BAN THE SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE IN RHINO HORN, THE GLOBAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES PARTS
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HISTORY OF THIS PETITION
On the 5th April 2017 the late, 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'.
After losing a series of court cases 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. South Africa has never been informed about the amount of horn that is in storage in various facilities that belongs to the state.
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.
South Africans have not been informed about the exact numbers of wild rhino in South Africa. For instance, we have no exact knowledge of how many rhino still exist in the Kruger National Park.
The rhino poaching statistics released in February 2019 have raised many questions. IF the poaching figures really indicate a reduction in loss of rhino this fact would question the necessity for trade in horn, or do the slightly reduced figures indicate there are less rhino left to poach, or are the figures accurate?
The information that we have received is that poaching figures may be less in the Kruger National Park but the reason for the reduced figure is a result of fewer rhino being available to poach.
Elephant poaching has increased in the Kruger National Park. Elephant poaching has also increased dramatically in neighboring Botswana as discovered by scientist Dr Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders.
Rhino in South Africa are still facing extinction. South Africa has lost half its rhino population since this crisis really escalated over the past five years. 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 encouraged the South African government to support Swaziland and proposal to legalize the international trade in rhino horn at CITES CoP18 in Geneva, Switzerland in August 2019. This proposal failed.
The South African government has proposed to double the quota for trophy hunting of the Black Rhino at CITES. This proposal was accepted but South Africa was not able to define how many Black Rhino we have in South Africa.
Namibia has proposed that the White Rhino is downgraded to Appendix II so that trophy hunting may be re-instated.
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa proposed the lifting of the ban on the sale of their ivory stockpiles in Geneva, this proposal failed.
The global pandemic COVID_19 has infected over one million people worldwide. This virus originated in wildlife in China. It has once highlighted the dangers of the wildlife trade. South Africa insists on trading in wildlife parts such as lion bone and rhino horn. It would be a pertinent decision for the government to suspend all trade. To stop the industry in South Africa. The world economy is on its knees.
28TH JANUARY 2021
According to a REPORT published today by SANPARKS there are an estimated 3529 white rhinos and 268 black rhinos left in South Africa’s flagship national park, the Kruger National Park. That represents a 59% decline.
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