DG: Over 500 rhino killed in SA

2013-07-24 11:12
Wildlands Conservation Trust officials have darted and tagged seven rhino to prevent poaching in Kwa-Zulu Natal. (Luke Pallet, Wildlands Conservation Trust)

Wildlands Conservation Trust officials have darted and tagged seven rhino to prevent poaching in Kwa-Zulu Natal. (Luke Pallet, Wildlands Conservation Trust)

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Johannesburg - At least 515 rhino have been killed in the country so far this year, the environmental affairs department said on Wednesday.

"I have been told that as of yesterday [Tuesday], a total of 515 rhino have been killed so far this year," deputy director general Fundisile Mketeni said in Kempton Park at the release of a report on rhino poaching.

"The increase of rhino poaching is continuously being discussed at the highest levels of government.... Your frustrations are also government's frustrations."

The department's rhino poaching statistics showed that a total of 668 rhino were killed in 2012. At least 446 rhino were killed by June this year.

Mketeni said a safety and security strategy developed at a rhino summit in 2010 was being reviewed.

"There will be stakeholder participation in its review. So far, law enforcement authorities have been engaged in fighting poaching, especially in the Kruger National Park."

Mketeni labelled Vietnam one of the "culprit countries" as far as rhino hunting was concerned. He said in a year there were 100 permit applications from Vietnam to hunt in the country.

The Vietnamese recently put a moratorium on hunting in SA after South African government officials visited the country to discuss the matter.

He said talks were also being held with the Southern African Development Community about protecting rhino.
Read more on:    rhino poaching

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