Poaching: Trophy hunting firms under fire

2012-08-22 22:35

Johannesburg - Many South African trophy hunting firms fail to meet industry regulations in a country hard-hit by poaching, the department of water & environmental affairs said on Wednesday after a series of raids.

Investigators found that tannery and taxidermy industries failed to comply with the Threatened Or Protected Species Regulations (TOPS) regulations and national standards regarding the marking of trophies from rhinos and their horns, as well as other game.

Authorities said the blitz was meant to enforce stricter control over the movement of rhino horns in the wake of increased poaching, with 339 rhinos killed since the beginning of the year.

"From a biodiversity perspective, the most frequent issues of non-compliance related to the absence of hunting registers and the absence of TOPS permits," the department said in a statement.

According to environmental regulations, tannery operators were expected to obtain licences to transport rhino horns from trophy hunts to taxidermists for processing and export.

In return, the taxidermies were required to keep a register detailing the receipt of rhino horns, their weight and the numbers of micro-chips inserted inside the horns.

Poor waste management processes and pollution were also cited.

South Africa allows a limited number of trophy hunts every year, but some traffickers have exploited the hunts to export horns to Asia, where they are then used in the lucrative traditional medicine market.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-08-22 23:17

    This IS sickening! Asians, leave our Rhino alone.. I promise you it will NOT improve anything below your belts.

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-23 07:48

      Hate to tell you this but most trophy hunters aren't Asain...

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-08-23 08:46

    trophy hunting should be forbidden in the RSA altogether..its a crime!!

      chris.shield - 2012-08-23 09:43

      Trophy hunting is the only reason we still have vast tracts of wild Africa left, if hunting was banned the farm owners would shoot the wild animals and replace them with cows or even worse, plow it up to plant mealies...

  • abra.kadaver.1 - 2012-08-23 09:12

    I would love to go to China and chop the noses off the Panda Bears , just so the Chinese can understand how we feel .

  • Johnny - 2012-08-23 09:24

    the NPA to investigate these businesses as well and the same legal action as taken against poachers and persons involved in selling of horns. Make the punishment a minimum of 15 years jail if guilty and attach all their possessions. Hit them very hard where it hurts .

  • john.porter.92102 - 2012-08-23 11:23

    Trophy hunting should be BANNED. Hunting has led to the destruction of species the world over. Killing for sport is sick and it's a disgrace that it is legal. The claim that 'hunting supports conservation' is the biggest lie that the hunting industry uses to convince gvt to keep the cannon fodder coming. Hunting KILLS and hunters don't give a damn about whether animals are endangered or not. NOT A SINGLE HUNTING ORGANISATION HAS DECRIED THE ISSUING OF PERMITS TO KILL RHINO EVEN THOUGH THE SPECIES IS ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION. The gvt is betraying future generations by allowing killers to dictate conservation. SICKENING BEYOND BELIEF.

      abra.kadaver.1 - 2012-08-23 12:07

      Do some research and you will soon realize that hunting pays for conservation. If you took away the hunters, who would have game farms ?

      chris.shield - 2012-08-23 12:41

      You can't compare modern sport hunting with the large scale indiscriminate slaughter of the 1800's which is what caused the species destruction you're talking about. A lot of these private game reserves have no natural predators and hence if there were no hunters culling would be necessary to keep populations down. It's all good and well to say the animals should be left to roam but fencing of farms has completely disrupted these ecosystems if they were left to their own devices overgrazing and disease would decimate these populations anyway. Not to mention the fact that in this ideal world game farms would become a financial sinkhole. If it can't pay it's way it doesn't get to stay! That's simple economics...

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