More than 100 rhino horns were stolen from this strongroom at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency. Photo: Supplied

Johannesburg - Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Monday asked for input on talks about the possibility of legalising the rhino horn trade.

“Stakeholders are invited to indicate whether they would like to make representations to the panel. Their inputs will be considered in formulating recommendations to government, on an appropriate position on the legalisation of rhino horn trade,” the department said in a statement.

A panel of 10 experts was established to help an inter-ministerial committee with its investigation. It was expected to report to the committee by the end of the year.

“ 1/8One of 3/8 the key areas of work to be undertaken by the panel include analysis of the current rhino situation and interventions to address illegal killing of rhino and illegal trade in rhino horn, with a focus on government initiative.”

Other areas the panel would focus on were the socio-economic impact of wildlife trafficking (illegal killing and illegal trade) on communities, game farms, and private game reserves.

Since January 496 rhino had been poached in South Africa and 141 alleged poachers arrested.