Cabinet says the verification and audits of all the existing privately owned rhino horn stockpiles will help to prevent the potential smuggling of illegally obtained rhino horns.
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has recently announced that South Africa is finalising verification and audits of all the existing privately owned rhino horn stockpiles to prevent the smuggling of illegally-obtained horn out of the country.
The initial audit, which was conducted by the provinces, is being checked and verified by the national Department of Environmental Affairs.
“This will assist in preventing the potential smuggling of illegally obtained rhino horns and will ensure that the country has full and accurate information on the number of horns in South Africa at any given time, as well as the registered owner of each one of such horns,” Cabinet said in a statement on Friday.
On the North Gauteng High Court ruling relating to the issuance of a permit for the selling of rhino horn to breeder John Hume, Cabinet reiterated that among several other operational conditions, the permit holder, who must have acquired a seller’s permit, can only sell rhino horn to a person who has a buyer’s permit. This must be issued in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act 10 of 2004), authorising the person to buy rhino horn from a seller’s permit holder.
Cabinet emphasised that the permit does not authorise international trade in rhino horn.
“International trade in horn remains banned, in terms of the provisions on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). During the entire auction, the Department of Environmental Affairs must be granted access to the online auction to do the necessary compliance monitoring.
“South Africa remains committed to a regulated process that manages the trade in threatened or protected species, in line with the domestic legislation, as well as the legally binding provisions of the CITES,” Cabinet said.
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