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Anti-poaching law 'sends a strong message'

SA signed an agreement with Mozambique last week, a major transit route for trafficked rhino horn.

 The Department of Environmental Affairs says a new law in Mozambique that ensures that rhino poachers get lengthy jail terms sends a strong message. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Environmental Affairs says a new law in Mozambique that ensures that rhino poachers get lengthy jail terms sends a strong message.

Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa signed a memorandum of understanding with her Mozambican counterparts on Thursday, a major transit route for rhino horn being trafficked to Asia.

Almost 300 rhino have been killed in the country this year, with the Kruger National Park being the hardest hit.

The department's Albi Modise says the announcement heralds a new era in terms of Southern Africa's efforts to fight poaching.

"Poachers don't respect political boundaries. Whether you are in South Africa or Mozambique, they operate as if there is no political boundary."

Molewa said the underlying reasons for the escalation in poaching incidents are diverse and include trade and market dynamics, legislative and administrative gaps as well as organised crime.

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