Rhino horn trade moratorium still stands

Minister looking at options to curb rhino poaching including lifting the rhino horn trade moratorium.

Minister Edna Molewa

CAPE TOWN - South Africa was not yet ready to call for a lift on the rhino horn trade moratorium, said Environmental Affair Minister Edna Molewa.

Molewa delivered her budget vote Wednesday afternoon and assured MPs the poaching scourge was considered a priority crime by law enforcement agencies.

There is mixed feelings among wildlife groups on whether reopening the international trade in rhino horn will prevent poaching.

Molewa said they were looking at a number of different options.

One includes lifting the moratorium, but she said a decision won't be made anytime soon.

"We have not yet decided. Let it be clear, we are still going to do some serious work in analysing whether we should move in that direction or not."

South Africa has an estimated stockpile of 20 tons of rhino horn.