The SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association officially supports the initiatives of the Government to consider legalising the trading of rhino horns in a bid to curb illicit trade of the horns and to protect the endangered species.
Dr Herman Els, Manager: Conservation of the SAHGCA, said the association "supports these initiatives as it dovetails with the Rhinos Alive campaign launched on 15 April at Huntex. Any initiative to get the trade in rhino horn legalised can only be to the benefit of rhino conservation."Â�
In a written reply to a parliamentary question from DA MP Jaunita Terreblance, water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa said that her department would commission a feasibility study to probe the viability of legal rhino horn trade in the country.
"The department will, as part of the outcomes of the Rhino Summit held in October 2010, commission a feasibility study on the viability of the legalization of the Rhino horn trade in South Africa,"Â� said Molewa.
Earlier this year, it was reported that 140 rhino have been killed for their horns by illegal poachers in the first quarter of this year.
This reportedly represents more than 44% of the 333 rhinos that were murdered in South Africa last year.
The South African National Defence Force has been deployed to provide security at the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, the epicentre of rhino horn poaching.
Rhinos are killed by illegal poachers for their horns, which are traded in the black market to be used as products for medicinal purposes in several Asian countries.
Molewa said issues of legal rhino horn trade would be further discussed at the next session of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in August this year.
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