News24

Public hearings on rhino poaching

2012-01-26 08:21

Cape Town - Parliament's portfolio committee on water and environmental affairs will hold public hearings on possible solutions to combat rhino poaching on Thursday.

The hearings are scheduled to begin at 09:30 in the Old Assembly Chamber in the Old Assembly building.

Eleven rhino have been killed in South Africa since the start of the year, with 448 killed last year.

South Africa has a rhino population of 22 000, which accounts for about 80% of the world's rhino population, SA National Parks CEO David Mabunda told the National Press Club earlier this month.

At the moment, the country's rhino population - 22% of which was in private hands - was growing, he said.

However, he warned that if poaching levels continued to climb, there could be a fall in the number of rhino from 2015.

At the same briefing, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said 150 more rangers would be deployed in the Kruger National Park this year to combat rhino poaching. This was in addition to the park's 500 rangers.

In the 1960s and 1970s Africa's rhino population was being exterminated at the rate of an estimated 8 000 animals per year.

Rhino horn is valued for dagger handles in Yemen and is prized in traditional medicine in China and Vietnam.

Comments
  • vince.l.gallo - 2012-01-26 08:36

    http://youtu.be/dHa0I9kYR6s

  • Megan - 2012-01-26 08:38

    Once upon a time, law enforcement agencies and game rangers were allowed to shoot poachers on sight. Why aren't they allowed to do that anymore? We know how over-stretched the SAPS are at the moment so why not create an anti-poaching unit within the defense force (there used to be one)? Not only for the Rhino's but the perlemon too? The unit should be responsible for identifying hot spots where poachers are most likely to hit and to provide regular patrols - armed with weapons designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain before they die.

      carpejugulim - 2012-01-26 12:23

      There is still an antipoaching unit but they are stretched to the limit

  • diego.singer - 2012-01-26 08:46

    First no matter how many ranger goes to the different parks won’t make any difference, as always is an inside job, please tell me how the rhino killers know where they are? & never there is someone that can tell who did it. The Elegant solution will be to make the rhino horns not good for human consumption and at the same time to be detectable anywhere in the world. First to make the rhino horns no good for human consumption: Ask to any of the big pharmaceutical companies to develop a kind of cream that after been apply on the Rhino horn will be absorb (like when you apply mercury chrome in the skin) making the horn toxic for human consumption but harmless to the Rhino , that why the biggest companies have to get involve to make all kind of tests like making a cream that easily & deeply be absorb , making it to last on the horn the longest as possible , be sure will not harm the Rhino or affect the unborn Rhino . Then if anyone keep killing Rhinos, how to find the Rhino horns? We should insert on the horn of every Rhino a very small radioactive isotope that will make any part of the horn detectable in any airport (most of the new X ray machines can detect any kind of radiation, preventing the smuggle of radioactive material from any country) ; For sure tests need to be done to see the one that last longer and the one that could do the less damage to the Rhino , but the rhino is so strong and big sure it can take on a little of radiation better than any person.

      dlawre30 - 2012-01-26 09:12

      Disagree about the inside job. The other day some of these poachers were shot and killed, turned out to be from across the border (Moz). Also Rangers are not trained as soldiers but as conservationists, they come accross these criminals and are putting their lives at serious risk. Great to have more being put out there but I hope they get some extra training as well.

      Barbara - 2012-01-26 10:24

      They have already come up with a poison that is injected into the horn, it just needs to be implemented in a big way now.

  • Cliff - 2012-01-26 09:00

    Legalize and manage the harvesting of rhino horn. It is a sustainable solution that must be tried. The criminal element must be eliminated. By initially flooding the market with stock and keeping the price lower through a sustained demand, the money is channelled to the correct people who own and care for rhino's to manage this sustainable resource more effectively

  • faerrab - 2012-01-26 09:35

    Why are there no public hearings to put measures in place against murder, rape, abuse, road carnage, etc. Is human life not as important as a rhino ?

  • jaxdstephenson - 2012-01-26 09:43

    These guys have a great plan that they're presenting to the committee at the hearings today - http://www.facebook.com/#!/RhinoReality

  • claude.oosthuizen - 2012-01-26 09:56

    Agreed, make it a serious offence, make an example of any poachers caught and presto, declien in number of rhino poachings.......................oh yes the removing of both hands...............publicly for muti purposes in oublic may be a good deterrent............

  • schneider.juanita - 2012-01-26 11:18

    I work for the Cape Hunters and Game Conservation Association. We support a lot of Conservation Projects across the Western Cape and have been trying for more then a year to get more actively involved with Cape Nature and hopefully that will happen soon. On 16 February we will have a member's evening and the Guest Speakers will be Li Lotriet from National Parks (involved with Rhino projects) and Johan Fourie (writer of the Rhino Poaching book "Stryd in die Bos"). Now - my reason for my comment: How can you hold a public hearing that has not been advertised anywhere and we read about it in the newspaper an hour before it is suppose to start. We want to help and we have 2900 members who can contribute. What must we do for somebody in Parliament to realize that we are here and we are willing?

  • tokoziza - 2012-01-26 11:37

    A classic example of trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

  • Sattva - 2012-01-26 12:17

    Shoot the poachers on sight - no trial, no jury !

  • Mel - 2012-01-26 23:25

    I think Rhino Poachers should be "de-horned"!

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