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SCA gives green light to domestic trade in rhino horn

Thousands of rhinos have been killed to meet demand for the commodity in Asian countries.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed a government bid to keep a seven-year ban in place on the domestic trade in rhino horn, an industry group said on Monday.

The decision has no bearing on a ban on international trade in rhino horn.

Potential domestic buyers could include those who see rhino horn as a store of wealth that could appreciate in value and for decorative purposes.

Thousands of South African rhinos have been slain in recent years to meet demand for the commodity in Asian countries.

"Legal finality has now been achieved," Pelham Jones, chairman of South Africa's Private Rhino Owners Association, told Reuters.

A spokeswoman for South Africa's department of environmental affairs said it would comment later in the day on the ruling made on Friday.

He says he feels vindicated.

"We must thank the public and those religious leaders that stood by me irrespective of understanding the merits of the case; by just being compassionate."