#ShockWildlifeTruths: SA kids speak out on rhino horn trade

Cape Town - Rhino poaching remains a major issue of concern for South Africa, as the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa is set to outline the progress that has been made in the fight against rhino poaching, on Monday 24 July. 

Molewa is set to detail the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach, which was initiated in August 2014. This is the South African government's multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary strategy to combat the threat posed by rhino poaching - Full report to follow.

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Rhino horn online auction pros and cons, readers respond

Future generation speak up

On Saturday, 22 July, a group of children from South Africa and the United Kingdom posted written a letter to the Minister of Environment, Dr Edna Molewa, begging her to stop the trade in rhino horn.

The children from Kids Against Poaching have also sent the letter to the Department of Environmental Affairs and tweeted a copy to TV personality and ‘Stroop’ rhino documentary filmmaker, Bonne de Bod, asking her to hand-deliver the letter to the Minister during her forthcoming press briefing to outline the progress in the government’s fight against rhino poaching.

In the letter the kids write, "The selling of rhino horn creates a world full of crime and we are helping to support crime by allowing this. We already have so much crime in our country and we cannot (Azaria Ragbar) afford to create more crime. They have as much right to walk and breathe on this earth as we do."

See letter here:


SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Rhino horn online auction pros and cons, readers respond

This comes as major concerns have been raised about an online rhino horn auction that is set to take place in August this year, set to put South Africa's domestic rhino horn trade parameters as set by CITES to the test, with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) stating that it does not allow rhino horn to be traded internationally.

The DEA issued a statement with a compliance warning, to make the parameters of the sale clear, saying "international trade in rhino horn is, and remains, illegal, and steps will be taken against any individual or group attempting to illegally move rhino horn purchased on the domestic market out of the country." 

Although confusion still remains, as false impressions about the online auction are spreading across social media.  The Rhino Horn Auction blog issued a primary concern response, saying "after going through all the comments posted on social media in relation to the rhino horn auction, we noticed a few primary concerns about the legal trade in rhino horn. We’d like you to know that we have heard all of your concerns." See the full post here.

Traveller24 did a poll to find out what the public thought of the rhino horn online auction.

Some 4 675 votes were cast saying that, like ivory, the online auction won’t work to reduce illegal trade and poaching. 

In contrast, 2 975 votes agree that this auction would actually create a loophole for illegal trade. A total of 1 369 votes suggested that this auction will decrease rhino poaching.

NOTE: Kids Against Poaching is a global school kids’ initiative to save the precious rhino. All kids are welcome to join this team.

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