South African government considers legal rhino horn trade

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, May 12, 2011.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    South African government considers legal rhino horn trade
    by Thabo Mokone

    Government is to consider legalising the trading of rhino horns in a bid to curb illicit trade of the ivory and protect the endangered species.

    In a written reply to a parliamentary question from DA MP Jaunita Terreblance, water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa said that her department would commission a feasibility study to probe the viable of legal rhino horn trade in the country.

    “The department will, as part of the outcomes of the Rhino Summit held in October 2010, commission a feasibility study on the viability of the legalization of the Rhino horn trade in South Africa”, said Molewa.

    Earlier this year, it was reported that 138 rhino have been killed for their horns by illegal poachers in the first quarter of this year.

    This reportedly represents more than 44 percent of the 333 rhinos that were murdered in South Africa last year.

    The South African National Defence Force has been deployed to provide security at the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, the epicentre of rhino horn poaching.

    Rhinos are killed by illegal poachers for their horns, which are traded in the black market to be used as products for medicinal purposes in several Asian countries.

    Molewa said issues of legal rhino horn trade would further be discussed at the next session of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species in August this year.


    Source: Times Live
     
  2. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    Rhino farming here we come could be a good money spinner.
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I have been receiving posts from one of the advocates of this legalization push. They are sold on the idea that being able to farm the Rhino horn will save the species.

    Legalization is certainly a way to get rid of the apparent "stock piles" of Rhino horns they claim there are in SA. But there are how many people in the asian culture who believe??

    Sheer poverty and the potential for large money (relatively speaking) will still have some people motivated to get some free horns and smuggle them. Maybe all the Rhino in SA will have their horns removed.

    All the farmers in Alberta that thought they were going to get rich from raising Elk (Wapati) by selling the antler velvet for the asian market have never really had that wealth materialize. This was not done to save a species only to make money, maybe it will help as one leg of a very concentrated effort.
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The latest email update....... FYI

    Save the Rhino…

    Dear Rhino Friends,

    As a small and self funded team we have come to the 58th general Assembly of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (C.I.C) St. Petersburg, Russia as a desperate measure to try and meet the right influential people and follow protocol as everybody suggested we do -


    JOHN HUME – Presentation to C.I.C General Assembly, St. Petersburg, RUSSIA (May 2011)

    Thank you Mr. Chairman and the other people that made it possible for me to make this short appeal on behalf of our rhino which are in a terrible crisis.

    We have to find a way to protect rhino or they will become extinct very shortly. Rhino are vulnerable and totally dependant on wise men for their survival.

    It is estimated that 50 years ago there were a 100,000 rhino in Africa with probably 2,000 – 3,000 in South Africa and 97,000 or 98,000 in the rest of Africa. This figure has now inverted with a total of about 26,000 rhino of which approximately 22,000 are in South Africa and 4,000 in the rest of Africa. So 98,000 in the rest of Africa have become 4,000 while 2,000 in South Africa have become 22,000. South Africa kept the poachers at bay while rhino were wiped out in most of Africa.

    Now in South Africa we are facing the scourge and we are having one rhino poached everyday. Clearly we have done too little to help the rhino - or rather what we have done has been the wrong thing. To make things worse the consumers or Pseudo hunters, as I call them, are demanding probably 98 percent of the legally hunted rhino and killing them in such a way as to blacken the reputation of genuine trophy hunters.

    In order to sustainably produce rhino, in my opinion we have to encourage private owners to breed them as they are simply better at protecting their rhino than the Governments of Africa have been. Unfortunately the opposite has occurred in the last 10 years where the private owners in South Africa have been dramatically discouraged from breeding rhino by onerous and punitive legislation.

    The rhino horn re-grows so, if it could be farmed sustainably and the farmers were allowed to make a profit from horn production, they would never need to sell an animal to be killed by a horn consumer and that, ladies and gentlemen, is also happening everyday in South Africa.

    The one thing that we should be doing for our rhino is breeding as many as possible and killing as few as possible but everything that we are doing is aiming at the opposite. Why can’t we wake up and realize that the rhino could produce an income for communities, emergent black farmers and commercial farmers and that the owners of rhino would never want to kill them if they were making a sustainable income from them. In other words they would not kill the goose that was laying golden eggs.

    When the poachable rhino in the rest of Africa had diminished dramatically the Eastern demand found that they could legally pseudo sport hunt rhino in South Africa. Then about 3 years ago when the South African government became aware of this they drastically reduced the permits and visas issued to Eastern hunters and poaching dramatically escalated.

    I think the government and the conservationist in South Africa towards the end of last year considered that the better of the two evils would be to issue more permits for hunting in an attempt to stop the poaching because at least the hunting permits would be utilized predominantly for male rhino whereas poaching is indiscriminate often targeting pregnant cows as well as cows with small calves.

    Now I have become aware of the most bizarre and terrible situation involving the rhino. It turns out that it has become more attractive to a Pseudo hunter to kill a young six or eight year old bull with a horn of 16 – 20 inches rather than a trophy bull of 28 – 30 inches. This is because the hunter pays by the kilo of horn on the dead rhino and the horn of a young animal apparently is cheaper by the kilo.

    Thus we are killing the very rhino which are capable of saving their species from extinction as they can produce one kilo of rhino horn per year for the next 30 – 35 years if it was harvested regularly from the live rhino. It has been proven that it is possible to safely and painlessly dehorn rhino without much stress.

    We could thus face the situation where we had the capability of sustainably producing enough horn to keep the poachers at bay and increase the numbers of our rhino population, but where we allowed this to slip through our fingers by killing the very animals that could sustainably produce the horn that could save our rhino from extinction.

    When the white rhino was taken off CITES Appendix 1, South Africa was allowed to trophy hunt white rhino and get a CITES permit to export the trophy and it was this that gave the Eastern pseudo hunter the gap to kill rhino and export the trophy. If we put white rhino back to Appendix 1, it would also be the death knell for our rhino population because our poaching would merely escalate to higher levels as no rhino horn could be legally acquired.

    There is only one hope for the rhino in Africa and that is to continue our efforts to increase our anti poaching coupled with the legalizing of the trade in rhino horn. This would enable farmers to sustainably produce and harvest rhino horn without killing the rhino when it is destined for consumer use rather than trophies.

    When a genuine trophy hunter requires a trophy it will not impact on the production of horn because the large trophy animals are all near the end of their productive life; unlike the young animals that are currently being slaughtered for the consumer trade rather than for the trophy hunter.

    I feel incredibly helpless in the face of what I consider is the impending extinction of the rhino in Africa and I feel that the people who could do something about it are either standing by with folded arms or are completely unaware or uncaring that the rhino will become extinct.

    Please consider the following: - The existing wildlife conservation agencies have failed, failed spectacularly, to conserve rhino over the past 50 years, and they show no signs of changing the strategy. To continue with the same failed strategy and hope for different results is insanity. A regulated trade in horn has the best chance of solving the problem and a few good brains that understand how markets work could produce a much better strategy.

    I repeat - rhino are vulnerable and totally dependant on wise men for their survival. I plead with you to go back to your home country and persuade your delegate to CITES not to rely on the continuation of the trade ban, as being the solution. Southern Africa has the capacity to supply, on a sustainable basis, all the horn the medicine market demands, horn sourced from natural death, existing legal stock piles, and sustainable, legal farmed horn.

    There is no need to kill one animal for the consumers of horn as they do not need a trophy. It is an absurd situation! We could without poaching have 50 000 rhino in 12 years. That should be our target and our measurable bottom line.

    We need your individual support in this plea – please voice your opinion or our Blog where you can also view a small video clip on the dehorning of a rhino, showing the little impact this procedure has on the animal for he is feeding within 18 minutes from being darted, and 5 min from waking-up.

    Regards to all

    John Hume
    Mauricedale Game Ranch
    info@mgame.co.za
     
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well, I have mixed feelings on the whole subject.

    But at least if the horn can be traded...rhinos would have value and huge reason to keep them going and having a breeding program...then you would probably see more on game ranches too. And the numbers would multiply.
     
  6. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Enthusiast

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    My feelings are not mixed. Trade bans create black markets. Black markets by definition are unregulated. The ban hasn't worked, it is time to try something that will.

    I'd love to see a legal trade wipe out the poachers and then have the rhino make a comeback. Maybe then I can afford to hunt one.
     
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    At least South Africa is taking a stance and trying to do something NOW.:)

    As explained to me last year if an animal does not have a value to the African people it will be replace by an animal that has a value to the people.:)

    By putting Cites restrictions on animals the USA government has reduced the value of animals in Africa to vermin. :) And as the native people indicated they will be replaced by animals that have a value. And we will have little say at that point.

    I had a discussion the the native workers in camp about the different animals that were spotted that were not on a license and when a animal was of no value to them, they saw no value in keeping the animal alive. To them the animal was taking up valuable space of animals that had a value and could be eliminated.

    And by the way there were very few animals spotted that did not have a value, one way of taking care of the vermin and to them that is not poaching.
     
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