Shady Rhino Hunting Under Spotlight

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Shady Rhino Hunting Under Spotlight

    Unscrupulous Asian businessmen are allegedly posing as big game hunters to slaughter South African Rhinos and export the horns - quite legally - as hunting trophies.

    But instead of ending up in trophy collections, the horns are being sold illegally to merchants to be crushed into powder for use in Eastern traditional medicine.

    The Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa (PHASA) and representatives of Wildlife Ranching South Africa have reported their suspicions to the department of environmental affairs and tourism, which is responsible for enforcing international laws designed to ban illegal trade in endangered animal and plant species.

    Democratic Alliance spokesperson on environmental issues Gareth Morgan has received a tipoff from a local wildlife taxidermist who suggested that several Vietnamese "hunters" were involved in the scam.

    According to the latest edition of the online hunting magazine African Indaba, PHASA has contacted the department of environmental affairs and the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

    African Indaba editor Gerhard Damm said: "It has come to the attention of PHASA that an increasing number of Asian nationals took advantage of the conservation status of White Rhinos in SA. There persons contract hunting safaris and are subsequently legally hunting and killing White Rhinos."

    Damm said the hunters were taking advantage of CITES export permits to ship horns to China and other Eastern nations and then sell them illegally to Rhino horn merchants.

    White Rhinos are listed on Appendix II of the CITES regulations, which allow horns to be exported as trophies to the home nation of the hunter.

    However, hunting groups fear that if trade restrictions on this threatened species are abused, international laws could be amended to ban the export of all Rhino trophies.

    Meanwhile, Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has hinted that the country may prohibit the export of Rhino horn trophies to certain countries if an investigation suggests that the CITES regulations are being abused.

    In a written reply to questions in parliament from Morgan, he said 237 permits had been granted during the 2006/2007 financial year for the export of Rhinos or Rhino parts.

    He said trade bans could be implemented against certain nations if they were found to be flouting CITES requirements.

    Source: Star
     
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I do believe trade bans are going to have to be imposed against those countries who are illegally obtaining rhino horns from hunters selling them on the Black Market! It amazes me... these horns must bring an astronomical amount of money considering to kill a White Rhino is in the $50,000 range!! It's bad enough poaching has to take place to obtain the horns, but now you act as legal hunters & start jeopardizing the opportunity for hunters to legally harvest & take home their hard earned trophies... you are drawing a fine line! This is a sad day & situation for all the hunting groups & people who raised and brought the Rhino population back into prominent numbers! We as hunters have to do what we can to stop acts like this!!!
     
  3. hound_hunter

    hound_hunter AH Member

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    Like Calhoun, I'm wondering how much money are these bastards making off of powdered horn!? Terrible news.

    And Jerome, Where on earth do you find all of this stuff out at? It seems like daily you bring 3 or more big stories like this that I never would have heard about anywhere but here. I love this site!
     
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    hound hunter, I find pertinent articles and stories in various places but mainly directly from African online newspapers or news websites. There is a resource page on AH called Africa News Online that you can get to by clicking here, where you can find daily online news from different countries in Africa...


    ...Researchers believed that the horns are just clumps of agglutinated hair, as at the base they may be crumbling. But CT scans and microscopy have revealed that their structure resembles that of the hooves. The horn grows like nails, and in the African black rhino it can be 1.4 m (4 ft, 8 in) long, while in the case of the African white rhino, which doubles the black rhino in size, it can be even 2 m (6.6 ft) long. If the horn breaks, it grows back by 8 cm (3 in) per year...

    ..In 1990, the rhino horns were sold US$ 20,751 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) in Hong Kong and US$ 23,810 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). A whole horn weighs over 5 kg...
     
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Well it really should not be too tough to narrow things down............at the risk of not being politically correct.............the consumer driven use of wildlife and wildlife parts for art, producing items used for ceremonial purposes or that signify status, and for traditional but highly questionable medicinal purposes always leads back to the same Asian countries does it not?

    It does not matter if we are talking about elephant ivory, rhino horn, bones and dried penises from big cats, bear paws and gall bladders, cervid antlers in velvet, snake bile and venom or the many dozens of other highly sought after animal parts, the black market destination is always the same handful of countries. And, despite constant assurances by these countries that they will stay on top of things, there always seems to be someone with the money and connections to finance poaching gangs, pay corrupt government officials and bureaucrats, and establish the distribution network.

    You can't tell me that, even with this latest scheme under the guise of legal sport tophies, diligent enforcement people and government agents wouldn't have noticed that the 'product' was on the streets, available, and could have traced it back to its source. But no, as usual everyone will pretend they were oblivious to the latest method of import.

    It took conscientious people within the hunting industry to blow the whistle and draw attention to it. The problem is that with the way things seem to work these days there is the potential that the whole thing could turn around and bite the good guys in the rear.
     
  6. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    Here is a bit of a different view all of these rhino were hunted legaly and they still dint go over the cites quota. So it will be difficult to stop what is happening at the moment and if the asian market will be closed to import rhino horn legally then they will go back to their old ways and poach them.

    The other bad thing that came out of it is that rhino prices have skyrocketed so much that for someone to finish off his big five animals he would pay as much for the rhino as he would have paid to shoot the other 4. Not really but by shopping around and being ready to fly out asap you could almost get there for the same price.

    So what would be the right steps to take forward ??? Maybe the asians should get into cloning rhino :D
     
  7. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I think Frederik has something there!! If the Asians want Rhino horns so darn bad & seem to have money to burn ... Wouldn't you think they could raise a whole boat load of Rhino's & harvest the horns when they get big enough & have the best of both worlds!! OR are they not that smart! & think poaching is the only way!! It's sad but the authorites better start waking up before it's to late!!!
     

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