Cape Town - A team of experts on rhino poaching has called on Parliament to consider legalising the trade of rhino horns, saying that the move holds great benefits for communities.
A total of 1028 rhinos were poached in South Africa from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. In 2016, 1054 rhinos were poached with a slight decrease of 26 animals.
Rhino conservationist Alan Sara told Parliament’s portfolio committee on environmental affairs that allowing individuals to trade their rhino horn stockpiles would benefit communities and the wildlife industry.
“There are two huge opportunities in the rhino industry for government that they have to take with both hands. The wildlife industry last year made R80 billion. That is a fact and not an opinion. It produced more than the beef industry in South Africa. There is only a tiny minority of South African population that benefit from this R80 billion,” said Sara.
Between 1 April 2017 and 31 December 2017‚ the Hawks arrested 16 level three to four local buyers and exporters of wildlife traffickers of South-East Asian‚ South African‚ Mozambican‚ Zimbabwean and Kenyan origin.