Cape Town - While conservationists fear that the first legal rhino horn auction
in South Africa may boost demand for illegal trade, plans for a second one are
According to a post by animal rights group, Save
the Rhino on Twitter, the Private Rhino Owners’ Association has indicated that
the next rhino horn auction could take place within 2-3 months.
The tweet states, "PROA Chair: next rhino horn auction could take place within 2-3 months, estimates Hume's auction fetched US$10k/kg."
Although Department of Environmental Affairs
attempted to stop the auction by refusing to issue the required certificates
for domestic trade, which it says was issued by a DEA official who had not
authorisation to do so - the first auction is said to have been a
SEE: UPDATE: DEA forced to oversee online auction of 264 rhino
horn, going ahead due to permit 'error'
Although fewer than expected bidders participated,
the Private Rhino Owners’ Association (PROA) has branded the event as a huge
breakthrough for rhino owners and their efforts to fight the scourge of
Private rhino horn owner, John Hume says although
the auction's result is a setback to achieving a legal, commercial trade in
horn to replace poached horn in supplying demand in the main markets, he had
triumphed and that a legal and sustainable supply has been established.
The auction yielded few bidders and fewer sales
than anticipated but the legal domestic trade has now been re-established and
the road has been paved for future sales. Hume says he will comply with his
reporting duties to the DEA in accordance with the conditions of the auction
However the names of those who participated in the
sale will not be made available. A statement by Hume says, “All the bidders
were duly authorised to participate in the auction and were issued with the
legally required permits to do so." see the full statement here.
SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: SA kids speak out on rhino horn
In August Traveller24 did a poll to find out what
the public thought of the rhino horn online auction. Some 4 675 votes were cast
saying that, like ivory, the online auction won’t work to reduce illegal trade
In contrast, 2 975 votes agree that this auction
would actually create a loophole for illegal trade. A total of 1 369 votes
suggested that this auction will decrease rhino poaching.
SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Rhino horn online auction pros and
cons, readers respond
Rhino crisis highlighted
SEE: Wildlife Act responds to John Hume ahead of delayed
online rhino horn auction
While the long-term benefits of whether this legal
route will ultimately lead to the demise of preservation of the species,
controversy around the issue remains.
In the midst of the controversial rhino horn online
auction, Kruger National Park rangers were involved in two contact incidents
with suspected poachers on Friday 18 August, and Sunday 20 August, in the
southern part of the park near Mkhuhlu and Cork areas.
SEE: Kruger Poaching War: two attempts stopped as online
Poachers also attacked Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage
in KwaZulu-Natal, which has subsequently decided to close down after a heavily
armed gang hit the orphanage on the night of 21 February.
SEE: Elephant Whisperer's rhino orphanage closure a blow for
anti-poaching in SA
In June, SA’s special investigative police unit
arrested poaching suspects at OR Tambo International Airport who were trying to
smuggle rhino horn out of the country. The two alleged smugglers were arrested
on 12 June and 10 rhino horn, valued at R2.8 million, were recovered.
SEE: Minister of Environmental Affairs welcomes arrest of
rhino horn traffickers
While government says it is doing all it can to
reduce poaching and increase arrests, some conservationists have alleged that
there is massive corruption within the court system, resulting in the release
of several suspects or the engineering of ongoing delays in trials that go
nowhere - while poachers are becoming more brazen in their attack and going
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