South Africa won't oppose global ban on rhino horn trade

South Africa won't push to have global ban on rhino horn trade lifted but maintains its policy of stockpiling

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of the media film as a ranger performs a post mortem on the carcass of a rhino after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga Province in South Africa, August 27, 2014.

South Africa will not push to have the global ban on trade in rhino horn lifted but will maintain its existing policy of stockpiling the commodity, 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 global trading in rhino horns as a way to stem 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 led to more poaching, with a record 1,305 rhinos illegally killed in Africa last year.

Buying and selling rhino horn internationally was banned in 1977 and if it wish to change the law to allow the global trading of the product South Africa would have to appeal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for endorsement at its September meeting in Johannesburg.

TRTWorld, Reuters