Rhino-hunting permits could be suspended

2011-10-12 13:04

Government may consider suspending the issuing of trophy hunting permits to curb the increase in rhino killings by poachers, the environmental affairs department said today.

The subject of a moratorium was broached at a meeting between Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and provincial environment MECs (Minmec), department spokesperson Albi Modise said.

“Minmec has recommended that a moratorium on hunting of rhinoceros be considered as a last resort, after all options have been explored,” said Modise.

A moratorium would be considered and implemented if there was a “clear abuse” or “absolute collapse” in any of the provincial licence permitting systems.

The other options that had been explored to close “loopholes” in the legal framework included a proposed amendment to the norms and standards governing the hunting of the animal under the Biodiversity Act.

The amendment stipulates, among others, that hunting can take place only under the supervision of a conservation official or environment management inspector.

It allows the permit issuing authority to postpone decisions relating to applications if any applicant is under investigation for contravention of the act.

Should the above measures not succeed in curbing the problem, the moratorium would be put in place.

Modise said a dehorning impact study had been initiated and would be concluded within the next two months.

Another two studies – a feasibility study to determine the viability of legalising trade in rhino horn in South Africa, and a global competitive market research assessment study – were also in the pipeline.

Since January, a total of 324 rhinos had been poached and 186 people arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

This figure included two white rhino killed by poachers in the Kruger National Park yesterday. Both were shot in the head, but only one front horn was removed.

Modise said the increase in poaching could be attributed to South Africa’s proud conservation track record.

At the end of last year, South Africa had conserved approximately 46% of Africa’s black rhino in the wild and 93.2% of the continent’s white rhino.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.