The Department of Environmental Affairs is concerned about the impression that is being created through the advertisement for an online auction of rhino horn by a South African game rancher that is using websites and social media to advertise same.
It is important to note that the content of various websites, some of which have been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese, as well all other Social Media sites, such as the web and Facebook, is misleading. This creates the unfortunate impression that South Africa has approved of, and is promoting, the international trade in rhino horn.
It creates the impression, that the horns will be available for purchase by international consumers and speculators for export from South Africa. The Department would like to emphasise that such action, that is, international trade would be illegal in terms of domestic regulations and South Africa’s international obligations. The commercial international trade in rhino horn is and remains prohibited in terms of all international protocols that South Africa is party to, particularly the Convention on International Trade in Species of fauna and flora (CITES).
The planned sale of rhino horn by private rhino owners relates to domestic trade only. The Department can confirm that it has received an application to sell rhino horn by means of an online rhino auction from a private owner and is in a process of evaluating the application.
In terms of the auction, it should be noted that national regulations and legislation with regard to the domestic commercial trade in rhino horn will have to be complied with. This means that the buyers and the seller would have to abide by all laws applicable within the borders of South Africa.
The South African Government and Department of Environmental Affairs remain committed to a well-regulated process implementing its domestic legislation, as well as all CITES provisions, to manage the trade in endangered species, such as rhino, in a manner that is not detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.
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