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Rhino horn trade being reopened will completely go against CITES recommendations 

Rhino Poaching Numbers Have Fallen For The First Time In A Decade According To The Department Of Environmental Affairs In South Africa.

The poaching figures were released a day after the South African High Court dismissed the government’s application to appeal an earlier ruling lifting a moratorium on the domestic sale of rhino horns.

South Africa’s national rhino horn trade being reopened will completely go against CITES which urges all member countries to adopt comprehensive legislation and enforcement controls, including internal trade restrictions and penalties, aimed at reducing illegal trade in rhino horn, It will make it much harder for already overstretched law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal rhino horn trafficking.

Although South Africa reports small decrease in rhino poaching, Africa-wide, 2015 was still the worst on record.
In Namibia, 80 rhinos were lost to poachers in 2015 – up from 25 in 2014 and just 4 in 2013. In Zimbabwe, 50 animals were killed – more than double the previous year’s total. These three countries are home to nearly 95 per cent of all remaining African rhinos.

South Africa’s environment minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday that 1,175 dead rhinos were discovered during the country’s annual census of poaching activities - 40 less than the 2014 record of 1,215.

 

During 2015‚ 124 rhino were translocated from the Kruger park to protect them from poachers. “These translocations to protected areas will continue in March 2016‚” Molewa said.

 

“A lot of work was done and that spike was actually averted. It is undeniable that this is because of the efforts of our people in particular the concerted efforts of law enforcement and security agencies,” Molewa said.

A total of 317 arrests related to rhino poaching at the Kruger National Park were made last year‚ and a total of 188 firearms were seized at the park in the year.

According to TRAFFIC data, Africa-wide rhino poaching totals reached 1,299 animals in 2014. The latest figure from South Africa means the continent-wide total in 2015 was at least 1,305.

Molewa has been reported to not giving up so easily.  Her and her legal team will be going to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and once they have filed their application to appeal, the moratorium will go back into effect.  Let's hope that DEA win this time..