South African government decides against rhino horn trade


South Africa will not allow commercial trading of rhino horns and will maintain its policy of stockpiling, a cabinet minister said on Thursday.

South Africa, where thousands of rhino’s have been killed by poachers for their valuable horns prized in Asia, had considered trading in rhino horns as a possible way of stemming the poaching activities.
“The recommendations endorse South Africa’s integrated strategic management approach to resolving the poaching of rhino and illegal trade in rhino,” Jeff Radebe, minister in the presidency, told a media briefing.
“The committee recommends that the current mode of keeping the country’s stock levels be kept as opposed to the trading in rhino horns,” Radebe said, citing an advisory committee’s findings on the feasibility of trading in rhino horns.

Rhino horn is prized in Asia for use in traditional remedies and surging demand has meant more poaching, with a record 1,305 of the animals illegally killed in Africa last year.

Buying and selling rhino horn internationally was banned in 1977, and if it had changed to allow the global trading of horns, South Africa would have to take that decision to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for endorsement at its September meeting in Johannesburg.