Legislation to Stop Pseudo Rhino Trophy Hunting

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  1. BRICKBURN

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    Legislation to Stop Pseudo Rhino Trophy Hunting

    Strict provisions to ensure that so-called trophy hunters do not abuse trophy hunting to obtain rhino horn under false pretences are contained in the amendments to the norms and standards for marking rhino horn and hunting white rhino for trophy purposes which will be effective as soon as it is published in the Government Gazette.

    In her announcement environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa stressed that all detached horns have to be marked by means of a micro-chip, as well as an external mark with a unique number. Additional information that is required from a hunting client in support of the application for a hunting permit includes proof of membership of a hunting association, or proof of previous hunting experience.

    She said the comments related mainly to:
    measures to follow the movement of rhino horns being strengthened to prevent them from entering the international trade market;
    samples for DNA analysis should also be taken of the live animal when translocated and not only of the horn; confirmation of the bona fide status of the hunting client as well as a provision that horns which form part of a hunting trophy must be mounted in South Africa prior to the export of the horns.

    All live rhinos sold and transported that have not been micro-chipped will now have to be micro-chipped.

    The management of hunting of rhinoceros has been strengthened through:
    clarification that a person may only hunt and export one rhino for trophy purposes within a twelve month period;
    rhino hunts must take place under the supervision of a conservation official, preferably an environmental management inspector from the province concerned.
    when considering an application, the issuing authority has to consider whether the country of usual residence of the hunting client, where the horns and hunting trophy will be imported to, has adequate legislation to ensure that the horns and hunting trophy will be used for the purposes as indicated in the CITES export permit. DNA sampling is a new section contained in the norms and standards.

    DNA samples of rhino horns must be collected when live rhinos are darted for translocation, treatment and any other management purposes. DNA samples have to be collected from detached horns obtained through amongst others natural mortalities, dehorning, or rhino horn trophies, when such horns have to be micro-chipped. The results of these DNA samples will assist enforcement officials to achieve successful prosecutions.

    The new norms and standards will strengthen the regulatory framework in terms of monitoring the legality of hunts and control over rhino horns. Stricter provisions relating to hunting were required to ensure processes are standardised and to reduce possible abuse of the system. The provinces have indicated that they will be able to implement the norms and standards.

    We are continuing to do research work to find more innovative mechanisms to curb rhino poaching. We once again call on members of the public to continue with all efforts they have mounted and call for more innovations and involvement of the South African society, Molewa concluded.

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