CABINET APPROVES RECOMMENDATIONS NOT TO TRADE IN RHINO HORN

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Cabinet announced on 21 April 2016 that it had approved the recommendations made by the Committee of Inquiry on the feasibility of trading in rhino horns that the current mode of keeping the country’s stock levels be kept as opposed to the trading in rhino horns. The country’s strategic approach entails security, community empowerment, biological management, responsive legislative provisions that are effectively implemented and enforced, and demand management.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) fully supports the position of Cabinet and we commend the Department of Environmental Affairs, and in particular the Honourable Minister Edna Molewa, for having the foresight to convene a panel of experts to deliberate in depth on the complex and controversial issue of rhino horn trade.

In principle, the EWT supports the sustainable utilisation of wildlife. However, in this instance, the systems required to manage rhino horn trade are not well understood, leading to untenable risks.
The EWT has been actively involved in efforts to curb rhino poaching since April 2010. Our approach is cross-cutting and aligns with national priorities. Examples of some of our recent efforts include engaging with communities on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park, providing support for field rangers in provincial and private reserves (recognising their significant contributions to rhino conservation), improved enforcement through the use of sniffer dogs along key points in the regional trade chain, demand reduction campaigns in Vietnam, and training of a variety of role-players to bolster enforcement efforts.

The EWT is committed to supporting the Government of South Africa in addressing the threats to one of our most majestic large mammals. There is no room for complacency in the midst of an ever-worsening crisis, and we strongly recommend the amplification of efforts to increase the impact of South Africa’s national strategic priorities to address rhino poaching.

End.

Contacts: Yolan Friedmann
Chief Executive Officer
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 11 372 3600
yolanf@ewt.org.za

Kirsty Brebner
Rhino Project Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 11 372 3600
kirstyb@ewt.org.za

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