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Court dismisses application to appeal lifting ban on rhino horn trade

Today’s ruling is upholding the decision to legalise the domestic trade in the horn.

Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Environmental Affairs says the High Court in Johannesburg has dismissed its application for leave to appeal against the lifting of the ban on the domestic trade of rhino horn.

In November, the High Court in Pretoria granted the application by two private game farmers who called for the removal of the moratorium.

Today's ruling, upholding the decision to legalise the domestic trade in the horn, comes just a day before government is due to release the rhino poaching figures for 2015.

The department's Albi Modise says Minister Edna Molewa is deeply concerned about today's ruling.

"The department and the minister are concerned and totally disappointed with the judgment. We strongly believe that we conserve our rhinos for a purpose of current and future generations."