“NOW IS THE TIME TO LEGALISE INTERNATIONAL RHINO HORN TRADE”
SAYS PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS SA
SOUTH AFRICA – There is no better time than the present to reconsider putting effective measures into place to legalise, better regulate and permit the international trade in rhino horn, says the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA). Currently, only domestic trade in rhino horn is legal in the country.
“After careful consideration and debate, we believe legalising the international trade in rhino horn to be one of the most effective, sustainable and ethical long-term solutions to safeguard the future of rhino populations,” says Tharia Unwin, chief executive officer of PHASA.
Recent statistics referred to during SA’s National Assembly show 483 rhinos poached in the country during the first five and a half months of 2017. Various authorities believe that rhino’s will be extinct by 2025, should poaching continue at the current (slightly decreased compared to this time of the year during 2016) rate.
“Now is the time to put our emotions aside. More than ever before do we need to be objective. Are we truly acting in the best interest of the rhinos?” says Unwin.
Since banning all international trade in rhino horn in 1977, the challenges we face and the circumstances we live in have changed. “We urge our government and all relevant stakeholders to revise the policies that need to change. It’s time to adapt,” notes Unwin.
She adds: “How much more research from credible sources do we need to see that the international trade in rhino horn, when well-regulated and implemented, will not be detrimental to the wellbeing of rhino populations?”
PHASA believes that the solution to the challenges above lies not just in implementing one, but a combination of strategies and approaches.
“One approach being that the money generated from the legalised international trade in rhino horn can be ploughed back into the conservation of these animals, e.g. deploying more anti-poaching units, the dehorning of rhinos in a controlled, safe and humane manner,” she concludes.
ISSUED BY THE PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS’ ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA (PHASA)
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