Posted November 26, 2015 22:03:09

A South African judge has lifted a domestic ban on trade in rhino horns, in a direct challenge to government policy put in spot in 2009 to attempt to stem rocketing poaching numbers.

The judge’s ruling, which was delivered in the Pretoria High Court after two South African game breeders fought a legal battle to overturn the moratorium.

The court decision came ahead of a meeting in Johannesburg subsequent year of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which could lift the international ban.

South Africa’s rhino poaching epidemic saw a record 1,215 rhino killed final year for their horn, and some private rhino breeders say selling legally harvested horns could stifle the profitable black industry trade.

“The moratorium on domestic trade in rhino horns is hereby reviewed and set aside,” mentioned the ruling from judge Francis Legodi.

The environment ministry said no selection had been created on whether or not to appeal against the ruling.

Lifting of the domestic ban in South Africa is not the complete war won, but it is at least a battle that has been won.

South African lawyer Izak du Toi

“Our lawyer is now studying the judgement,” ministry spokeswoman Roopa Singh mentioned.

John Hume and Johan Kruger, the two game breeders who launched the legal action, say it is their constitutional appropriate to sell rhino horn — what they describe as a renewable resource.

“Hopefully this will bring about a change and lead the way to what takes place in September subsequent year at CITES,” said Izak du Toi, a single of Mr Hume’s lawyer

“We think the South African government is seriously contemplating creating a proposal to CITES to permit international trade in rhino horns.

“[Mr Hume] hopes that a legalised trade will lead to a reduction in poaching.

“Lifting of the domestic ban in South Africa is not the whole war won, but it is at least a battle that has been won.”

‘Legal dehorning’ favours organization more than conservation

South Africa is house to about 20,000 rhino, or 80 per cent of the planet population.

The quantity of rhino killed rocketed from 13 in 2007 to 1,215 final year.

The animals are slaughtered by poachers for their horn, which is utilised as a standard medicine in East Asia.

Legally dehorning a rhino would see a farm owner put the animal beneath anaesthesia then saw off the horn, which is composed of keratin, the exact same material as fingernails.

Each horn would demand its personal permit that would be recorded in a database.

“This step is getting deemed for financial rather than conservation reasons,” the Save The Rhino group said in an e-mail.

The judge mentioned that the government had not followed correct legal procedures when implementing the ban and had not consulted the public.

“It is possibly on technical point that the judge ruled in the applicants’ favour,” top anti-trade lobbyist Dex Kotze stated.

“The pro-trade lobby will see it as very a massive win for themselves, but who are they going to sell it to? Simply because at the end of the day, the South African industry doesn’t consume.”

The selection came right after a northern white rhino — 1 of just four remaining worldwide — died on Sunday at the San Diego Zoo in the United States.


Subjects: animal-welfare, animals, globe-politics, south-africa

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