Rhino: SA mulls new trophy hunt rules

2012-03-29 22:42

Johannesburg - South Africa may impose new limits on trophy hunts as it combats a devastating surge in rhino poaching, with 150 killed illegally so far this year, the environment ministry said on Thursday.

Big game hunters are allowed to kill a limited number of rhinos every year, with their horns exported as mounted trophies.

But a Thai man was arrested this week and accused of manipulating the system, making bogus trophy hunts to feed the demand for rhino horns in the Asian traditional medicine market.

His was the fourth arrest in an alleged syndicate that hired Thai strippers and prostitutes to pose as hunters and export the horns.

The ministry "will pursue a halt to the issuance of hunting permits to hunters coming from countries that do not have appropriate legislation to monitor whether the trophy is used for the purpose as reflected on the permits", it said in a statement.

The ministry is also in talks with Vietnam's agriculture department on how the countries can work together to address the matter of hunting permits and ways to stop possible abuses.

South Africa has  asked Vietnam "if they could conduct inspections and verify that the white rhinoceros trophies exported from South Africa to Vietnam are still in the possession of the hunters", the statement added.

The animals' distinctive horns are hacked off to be smuggled to the lucrative Asian black market, where the fingernail-like substance is falsely believed to have powerful healing properties.

  • Chris - 2012-03-29 23:08

    Rude awakening! The ministry has been caught with their pants down! Since 2011- 600 rhino too late! At this point NOBODY should be killing rhino!

  • Christopher - 2012-03-29 23:09 sad idiots,there should be NO trophy hunts(you make it sound so cool,trophy hunts) how many back hands are you receiving from these sad F88ers that shoot our beautiful animals, and f88k the lodges and travel agents that support this(pen travel)...bastards and bastards of our government for this to keep happening...

      Clive - 2012-03-30 08:39

      Christopher, despite your (and my) frustration over the ineptitude and tardiness of the authorities on this issue, using foul and abusive language does not help the cause.

      Clive - 2012-03-30 11:52

      Ah, so all the thumbs-downers think that foul and abusive language DOES serve the cause!

  • Bluemast - 2012-03-30 00:21

    The limit on killing rhinos is ZERO - get it! There should not be any permits issued for the killing of any rhinos for ANY reason whatsoever!!! The authorities that issue these permits should be held accountable and liable according to a revised law prohibiting the issue of any such licences. I might as well go and apply to kill a human being for his head as a trophy, itt means the same thing! This is starting to devestate our country as a whole and our tourism that we so preciously rely on displaying our majestic and sometimes very unique species! If the rhinos are gone, then that means another one bites the dust and all other parts of our wonderful eco-system starts deteriorating with it - I'm sorry, but licking government's a..s and negotiating should not even be contemplated, this is our country - when in SA, do as as we say, just as would be the case in any other country around the world if it were us committing any such henious autrocities - not so!? Food for thought........!

      Koos - 2012-03-30 07:39

      If I have rhino on my farm, they belong to me and if someone are prepared to pay $100k to shoot it so be it. I'll go and buy another one for R100k from Kruger. All above board. Blaming trophy hunters for the demise of the rhino is like blaming legal gun owners for all the armed crime that is going around.

      Hunter - 2012-03-30 08:31

      Yes, Koos. Banning legal hunting just put most of the economic gain from the rhino in our country in the hands of the criminal syndicates.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-30 09:12

      @koos - I can see that money makes the world go round for you hey??? Well, you know what, the wheel turns, soon, even you will have NO RHINO to sell you idiot!!! And by the way try comparing oranges with oranges!

      Cindy - 2012-03-30 10:10

      Glad to see your empathy for the animals on your game farm Koos, I take it you sedate them before the hunters shoot them too hey... Just to be kind to the animals you understand. Taking your logic further, you'll allow all you rhino to be shot because you can get $100k per each, then you spend 100k (ZAR) to buy more from Kruger.... now Koos, what happens when Kruger (and other Parks) can't supply because all theirs have been poached or sold to caring game farmers such as yourself?

      Toofaan - 2012-03-30 10:10

      @Koos. The difference is that Rhino is an endangered species. I can understand culling of herds of other animals to preserve the eco-system etc. But in the case of the Rhino, there is a disproportionate effect on their survival as a species with every single one killed. You have however mentioned the biggest problem : Greed. This should not be about the money that people will lose. Survival of the species is more important. Whether it's on your land or not, if it's declared illegal to kill any Rhino, you will be prosecuted if you just let someone shoot it.

      Koos - 2012-04-02 01:03

      You know how a business works. It is there to make money right? A game farm is a business. You buy animals from game auctions. You let them roam your farm. The hunter pays his price to hunt the animal. If I'm not allowed to keep rhinos for that purpose then they I will not buy them for that purpose. I'll keep something that can be hunted. @Antipoaching: take your head out of the sand. Do you think the abbatior sedate the cattle before slaughtering them? Chickens are electrocuted before nicking them to bleed out.

  • Amelda - 2012-03-30 01:01

    II hope you rot in hell. You and the chaps and japs that needs penis extensions! Its quite clear that a bobbejaan throwing stones can't rule a country

  • Jean - 2012-03-30 06:12

    What the.... hunting and using the meat is debatable but trophy hunting? That is just sick!

  • Dennis - 2012-03-30 06:22

    50 rhino murdered a month so far this year and the government MAY IMPOSE NEW LAWS ?????????????????

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-30 06:41


      Koos - 2012-03-30 07:40

      Conservation and hunting goes hand in hand.

  • Shaun Robinson - 2012-03-30 07:30

    I can't believe we even considering this... What a joke...

  • chiepner - 2012-03-30 07:40

    Too Late - I cant understand how you can still allow hunting permits for a specie that is at the brink of extingtion.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-30 09:15

      Money under the table, that's all it's about - this scam will eventually be revealled to the world when discovered! Then we will see who laughs last!

  • Toofaan - 2012-03-30 07:42

    They're an endangered species. There should be no hunting at all. When the number of Rhino in one place gets to be too many, just take them somewhere else. Rhino hunters are worse than poachers and should be treated as such. At least the poachers do it out of need (or greed) to earn money and they are in danger of being killed when caught. Hunters kill Rhino just because they can - Pathetic !!!

  • frank.molteno - 2012-03-30 08:23

    Now the armchair conservation masturbators want to police other countries? If u want to keep rhino in Africa establish a rhino-horn marketing board with simple DNA auditing. Bring down the price with a constant supply. Get the retailers who will now have a legal source to help remove the illegal suppliers. Surplus bulls have to be hunted otherwise they kill their male calves. Help rhino owners to afford their work. Think!

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-03-30 08:27

    Ban bloody trophy hunts on rhinos for flip sakes. We dont have the numbers to kill a limit. Seriously you idiots have got no bloody brains. Only when there are two rhinos left will you only get it right. Ban hunting of rhino and start punishing these poachers harder. How hard can it be. You bloody idiots just talk talk talk. Put some more bloody action into plan than just bloody talking!!!!

  • Clive - 2012-03-30 08:37

    Yeah, "mulls" means that it will take years before anything is actually decided and enacted; meanwhile the rhinos will continue to be slaughtered in ever-increasing numbers.

  • paul.els1 - 2012-03-30 08:51

    Sorry guys you have absolute no idea what is going on… Thank you for every hunting outfit who hunt rhinos (legally)!!! Cause you are the guys helping to conserve the rhino!!! Sorry for the blind idiots who think the problem are with the hunting industry!!! Fact: If it were not for hunting; I fear to know where the rhino numbers would have been (probably near to extinct)!!! Fact: Why would a farmer hunt his own rhino illegally, while can get a permit to do it legally? Fact: Why will a rhino farmer kill all his rhino’s, when he can get a good price for hunting it? Thus the reason why a rhino farmer will do it’s utmost best to conserve and multiply his stock… Come on your “greenies”: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FRESH AIR!!! Don’t comment on something you know nothing about and stop jumping on the band wagon just to be cool, it’s NOT!!! We all love our rhinos, but the problem is not with the hunting industry; it is with poachers…

      Clive - 2012-03-30 09:42

      In other words, Paul, it's all for the money - at least you're honest. And it is arrogant to suggest that people who are not in favour of rhino hunting are all ignorant greenies. I would suggest that most of the world's conservationists - who are by no means ignorant - fall into the "anti" camp. What happens when there are no more rhinos left in the wild for you guys to buy to replace the ones shot to satisfy the bloodlust of some stinkingly rich yobbos like the Trumps?

      Cindy - 2012-03-30 11:20

      Paul, pleadse read Koos's comment, no breeding programme, no anything just buy from Kruger, kill them and buy more. Please explain how Koos is helping (in any positive way) the preservation of the rhino as a species Oh ja and by the way, your comment .... "Fact: If it were not for hunting; I fear to know where the rhino numbers would have been (probably near to extinct)!!! " Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm, guess where Rhino numbers are, gosh lets think............ NEAR TO EXTINCT!

  • Amanda - 2012-03-30 08:56

    Duhhhh, who has woken up?, a bit too late I would say.

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-03-30 09:08

    As we've seen with the Thai syndicate, the trophy-hunting biz can be exploited. As far as I know, a person may only hunt one rhino and then prove that they have mounted the horn as a trophy. Now what these clever Thai's did was get a whole load of sex workers who had never even held a gun before, and applied for hunting licences for each one of them from a corrupt government official. They then hired a rogue professional hunter who did the actual shooting of the Rhino in the name the sex workers. Result? The professional hunter gets a cut of the profit made from the horns, so too does the corrupt official, and the rest goes to greedy Thai boss/pimp.

  • Assis - 2012-03-30 09:26

    The problem is the demand for Rhino horns....why has Viagra not launched a massive ad campaign proclaiming the benefits of it's product versus the Rhino horn in the Far East ?

  • Samantha - 2012-03-30 10:12

    Um, Paul.els1. If what you state is true, could you then please explain to me why the Rhino is near extinction (in Africa) now? That would mean that you ouks are not doing your jobs?!?! If you say conservation trophy hunting is the reason why they are still around? Correct me if I'm wrong. And please, try not be such an ass about it.

      gareth.mann - 2012-03-30 10:54

      Actually, one of the reasons why the white rhino recovered so successfully (the population was down to between 20 and 50 individuals at the beginning of the 20th century, and now sits at around 18 000!) was due to trophy hunting - it gave private reserves a legitimate source of income for rhinos (other than tourism) and allowed them to receive a substantial return on their investment. Hence, lots of reserves brought in white rhino, and the population grew. You can't expect reserve owners to spend vast amounts on fencing, anti-poaching patrols, etc. and then deny them a means of recovering some of that outlay.

      Cindy - 2012-03-30 11:24

      Gareth am I correct in assuming they had breeding programmes? You see guys like our very own Koos merely want to buy rhino for their clients to shoot because he can make big bucks.... People like him harm the image of the hunting industry. I don't hunt (don't like venison or dead animal heads as decor) but have friends with game farms/reserves and who are ethical PH's so understand the industry BUT if the Koos's arent weeded out public opinion will turn against legal hunting... so what are you PH types doing to control the unethical okes?

  • Lizelle - 2012-03-30 10:48

    The ministry "will pursue a halt to the issuance of hunting permits to hunters coming from countries that do not have appropriate legislation to monitor whether the trophy is used for the purpose as reflected on the permits - REALLY!? TROPHIES!? Terwyl daar gespook word om 'poaching' te bekamp word daar steeds permitte vir 'trophy hunters' gegee? What the hell!?

  • Jill - 2012-03-30 12:12

    “NEWS FLASH - TESTICLES OF RHINO POACHERS ARE 100% MORE BENEFICIAL THAN RHINO HORN” Maybe somebody out there would be prepared to be the first to fund the “Cut off their balls” campaign !! ?

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