Rhino: Clampdown on trophy horns

2012-04-15 22:24

Skukuza - Professional hunters will only be allowed to hunt and export a single rhino horn for trophy purposes once a year, the water and environmental affairs department has announced.

Department spokesperson Albi Modise said the aim was to reduce the abuse of hunting permits, which possibly fuels the illegal trade in rhino horns.

“The management of hunting of rhinoceros has been strengthened.

"Therefore, a person may only hunt and export one rhino horn as a trophy. We are doing this in order to be able to control hunting processes,” Modise told African Eye News Service.

He said rhino horn trophies could not be replaced with replicas as hunters expected to take home the real thing.

“If a hunter comes into the country in order to hunt a rhino, they expect to go back home carrying an original trophy,” said Modise.


Modise said hunters had to apply formally for hunting permits.

He said it was important for conservation authorities to ensure that the hunter’s usual country of residence had adequate legislation that complies with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora export permit.

“We believe that the countries where the horns are taken will work with us to ensure that the horns are still safe and used for what they have been exported for,"Modise added.

He said the Vietnamese government was expected to help South Africa investigate if rhino horns taken to that country were still in the hands of legitimate hunters.

There's a huge market for illegal rhino horns in East Asian countries like Vietnam.


Minister Edna Molewa has also urged private landowners who are in possession of rhino horn stockpiles to register them.

Molewa, who was speaking at a news conference at the Kruger National Park in Skukuza, said it was a legal requirement to register horns with provincial conservation authorities.

“The Biodiversity Act of 2004 requires that everyone who is in possession of a horns stockpile should have a permit. It is essential to know who are in possession of the horns so that it will help us fight poaching,” said Molewa.

She said other countries in the world have removed horns that were kept in museums and other public places in order to prevent the horns from being stolen.

“Everyone in the world is now using a replica of a rhino horn in order to quell the scourge of [illegal rhino horn trade],” said Molewa.

She announced that about 617 rhino would be poached by the end of this year if the current SANParks anti-poaching strategy is not properly implemented.

She said this year alone rhino poaching has resulted in the death of 159 rhino.

“The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of these losses, with the rhino poached in the park having reached a staggering total of 95,” said Molewa.

  • Horst - 2012-04-15 22:35

    This approach is all wrong, flood the market with the stockpile of rhino horn and bring down the price to make make it less attractive to poach.

      Angela - 2012-04-16 08:08

      Unfortunately that only works once and then it reverts to normal but I agree that the approach is all wrong,

      Ant - 2012-04-16 08:20

      Horst, the "flood the market" numbers just don't add up. It is not possible to flood the market. Secondly, the traders in the far east will just stockpile the horn there, keeping the street value high (as de beers does with diamonds). Its common sense. We all want the Rhino to be safe, but don't be fooled by the few people calling for legalisation of horn trade, as they are concerned only with making money out of the investment they have made in Rhino and its horn.

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2012-04-15 22:56

    That shows exactly the IQ of officials. Poachers do not apply for permits. It is already easier for a man to fall pregnant than to get a permit issued. Poachers do not apply for permits . They do everything illegal. This is exactly like the new Firearms control act. The law abiding citizens have a tough time owning a firearm while the criminals still possess illegal guns .... a lot of them obtained from the police or army ! Yes they should legalise trade ! The sooner the better !

  • Judy Judeel Heyns - 2012-04-15 23:14

    Why are they allowed to hunt Rhino's for trophies to start off with!?!? Rhino's are on the verge of extinction you idiots!

      seanpresherhughes_1 - 2012-04-15 23:26

      You take the words right out of my mouth Judy......!

      Marion - 2012-04-16 00:06

      Tonight every article I have read on News24 has incensed me totally. Hunting for trophies is not sport in my opinion. The day will come when our children's children will only see rhino on tv and the remnants of a magnificent animal mounted on some d***heads wall. This is a cinquain poem I wrote after seeing photos of the Trump hunting debacle: Trump This… Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Guns, grins, glittering eyes – Pompous pampered pecunious pricks. Bang!

      Carol - 2012-04-16 08:06

      Exactly - there is no sense whatsoever in hunting anything - what for??????

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-16 09:44

      Hunting a rhino must be about as exciting as hunting a big fat cow. You creep up on it, down wind, take aim and BANG! So brave, such a challenge.

      Andrew - 2012-04-17 20:30

      Actually if it was not for trophy hunting there would be a lot less R. you should thank the Rhino hunter for the amount of Rhino he was saved.

  • Paula - 2012-04-16 00:00

    Viva Laws .*

  • Mazimba - 2012-04-16 01:57

    My thoughts exactly Judy. Why is this 'trophy hunting' even allowed? Surely viewing an animal species on the brink of extinction should be trophy enough!

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-04-16 02:29

    STOP ALL RHINO HUNTING!! should a hunter have a desire for a trophy horn let him amputate his own dick!!

      David Rogers - 2012-04-16 05:31

      Gerald Jordaan you are such a naïve individual! Your sentiments are typical of the so called ”armchair expert” What have you done for conservation in this country?

  • mlondozi - 2012-04-16 04:37

    Please do not register your private stock piles! My hunch is that the government is involved in selling the Rhino horns to the Chinese. The ANC and China are in cahoots and our fabulous fat cabinet minister trolls are making an absolute bloody killing!!! The moment private land owners begin registering their stock piles will result in "a sudden increase in the rate of farm robberies and attacks"... SA stop being so naive in believing the Chinese are solely to blame when I am almost certain our supposed guardians are selling us and our heritage down the river and driving the illegal trade in Rhino horn. The moment we flood the market with Rhino horn and begin sustainably harvesting and re-harvesting the horns off of Rhinos without them being harmed is the day the price bottoms out and people stop making money. The government will NEVER allow this because they ARE profiteering off this carnage! DISGUSTING!!!

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-16 09:41

      How can this be proven?

  • Dennis - 2012-04-16 05:10

    Hey Sis Edna, BAN RHINO HUNTING ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................

  • Zighom - 2012-04-16 05:55

    This is getting dumb and dumber by the day. Just ban this trophy business altogether

  • jody.beggs - 2012-04-16 05:57

    This is just stupid. People really can't leave a gravy train alone can they ? Damn the man.

  • André - 2012-04-16 06:10

    I didn't realise that the majority of Rhino's being poached in our Country was by professional hunters and their clients. Same strategy applied to the abalone problem in South Africa. Stopped the issuing of recreational permits to divers to take out their abalone and that stopped the abalone poaching - wrong. Two facts regarding rhino's are that if we do not start to supply the demand, our rhino will be lost to future generations and two if it was'nt for the gamefarming and trophy hunting industry our wildlife in general and a lot of other species would've been in serious trouble. There are a lot of laws, rules and regulations in place already that govern the trophy hunting industry, so another one will not really make a difference. It does'nt help that South Africa has some of the best environmental laws in the world but cannot implement of enforce them. Punish offenders harsly with long jail sentences so that they will not even consider poaching, then we might start to get somewhere. Does anybody know how many poachers has actually been sentenced in South Africa and what the worst sentence was?

  • koo.doyle - 2012-04-16 07:17

    Disgusting that 'trophy' hunting of Rhinos is even allowed. Shameful.

  • Senzo Mathebula - 2012-04-16 07:23

    This is crazy, poachers are killed at KNP everyday yet we have rich foreign hunters allowed to hunt the poor rhino for trophies. Welcome to Banana republic!

  • quentin.horn1 - 2012-04-16 08:26

    Really? WTF? It should not be allowed at all, Environmental affairs are greedy. STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!

  • Elizabeth Lee - 2012-04-16 08:33

    how can they even allow hunting when they know how endangered the rhino is. typical, greedy people running environmental affairs.

  • Gieljam - 2012-04-16 09:09

    This must be seen as a sad joke, whe are constantly being told that Rhinos will soon be on the brink of extinction , yet they still allow trophy hunting at this late stage .A complete ban on shooting Rhinos must be put in place immediately .This law will hopefully make these rich hunters so mad they will start doing their hunting on poachers and horn powder users elsewhere

  • Tinus Erasmus - 2012-04-16 09:11

    ag please guys!! look how many were already poached!! and its big boys that are involved!! stop rhino hunting for years in order for numbers too flourish again!!

  • André - 2012-04-16 11:21

    Banning the hunting of Rhino by professional hunters altogether will only save a few lucky rhino and not the species. The Krugers will be the first to go.

  • sian.okeeffe - 2012-04-16 12:03

    Legalising the trade won't work as our government has proven they have absolutely no ability to manage it properly. The only way to win this war on poaching is to find a way to kill the demand in the end market. One way of doing so is to make the end product unfit for human consumption. The Rhino Rescue Project has a method to do just that, buy infusing the horns with a specially tailored compound that is highly toxic, but non-lethal, to humans. Not only is the horn toxic to humans, but it is stained internally with an indelible dye and, so its worthless on an ornamental level, and the dye is visible on x-rays, even if the horn is ground to a powder form, thus making it much more difficult to transport/smuggle out of the country. The toxins are standard over the counter animal dipping products used to treat things like ticks and mites, so won't cause any problems with the rhinos. If anything, it is beneficial to the animals. If you want to do anything with the existing stockpiles, then I would say take a bunch of stockpiled horn, treat it with this treatment, and let it "find" its way into the end market. As soon as you have a couple thousand people getting violently sick with severe nausea, vomiting, convulsions and/or nervous symptoms, you will create enough fear of the product, and demand will come down as the risk is too high to the end consumer. No demand = no reason to poach = safety for our rhinos. Visit for more info

  • Allan - 2012-04-16 12:16

    WHAT CAN WE DO TO SAVE THE RHINO??? Lawrence Anthony in his book 'The Last Rhinos' mentions Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Malaysia & Taiwan amongst others, whose governments are not doing enough to stop the trade in rhino horns into their countries. We can bring pressure on these governments by: NOT BUYING ANY PRODUCTS MADE IN THESE COUNTRIES NOT GOING ON HOLIDAYS TO THESE COUNTRIES A worldwide Tourism & Trade boycott by us, the public, can go along way to SAVING OUR RHINOS

      Andrew - 2012-04-17 20:42

      If the trade in rhino horn was legalised in South Africa then the pressure on the Rhino in Asia will be relaxed. People are very naive if they think they can change the mindset of over a billion people who speak a different language, live thousands of miles away and have a very different culture. People are also naive if they think the Chinese is going to become poorer in the future. (Globalisation is here to stay). They are also naive if they think poisoning does not violate the right to life as well as shoot to kill of poachers. The are also naive if they think that anti-poaching measures will just increase the price of the horn generting more incentive to poach and nullifying there efforts. People preventing the trade are a third of the problem. They are also naive if they think that the Rhino owners will be willing to protect the Rhino forever without finacial compensation. The very best thing that can be done for the rhino is to legalise the trade. SAVE THE RHINO.

  • Virginia - 2012-04-20 08:02

    Stop all hunting - no more permits!!!!!!!!!!!! Gerald Jordaan I am with you all the way!!!! Hunters - yes just think of their mentality for 1 sec - one doesn't have to bee a science boff to understand how cruel, cowardly, savage etc. they are.....and then they say they do this for conservation - what a huge laugh!!!!!! Morons!!!!!!!

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