This week rhino owners, conservation NGOS and other stakeholders had a chance to address the Rhino Horn Trade Proposal Committee of Inquiry with their support or concerns for re-opening of international trade in rhino horn. WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) voiced strong concerns against trade as it risks exposing our few remaining rhinos to heightened poaching pressure.
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is considering requesting international wildlife trade regulator CITIES to allow restricted trade in rhino horn. It has established the Committee of Inquiry, a panel of trade, law and conservation experts to advise it on this proposal. DEA’s stance on this matter was evident when they elected a panel heavily weighted with pro-trade advisors, but later included more no-trade proponents after many conservation NGOs complained of its obvious bias. On 26 and 27 March the Committee of Inquiry heard public submissions from stakeholders and concerned organisations on this proposal that will have far reaching implications for conservation, community development and international relations.
Download the full report: WESSA media statement – South Africa¹s Rhino Horn Trade Proposal risks rhino extermination – 27 March 2015 (.docx 363kb)