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IFAW condemns breeder's plans to sell rhino horn stockpile

A recent moratorium on the domestic sale of horn in the country makes the sale legal as long as it remains in South Africa.

Picture: @ArriveAlive

JOHANNESBURG - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has condemned plans by local rhino breeder John Hume to sell part of his stockpile in a legal global online auction.

IFAW, who rescues and protects animals around the world, has called the auctioning of Hume’s 500kg of rhino horns planned for next month short-sighted and potentially dangerous.

The organisation's Christina Pretorius says there are implications.

“In our possession, any trade of rhino horn or rhino products puts animals at risk of entering illegal market places and it risks the conservation of the species.”

A recent moratorium on the domestic sale of horn in the country makes the sale legal as long as it remains in South Africa.

In a statement, Neil Greenwood, IFAW Southern Africa region head of programme and operations, said there was no evidence to prove that stockpile sales had a positive impact.

“In fact to the contrary they are fuelled by economic greed and place a greater burden on enforcement and conservation agencies who are already battling to contain the poaching war against rhino in South Africa.

“While this sale may be legal, it could well play into the hands of the criminal syndicates who are known to exploit any loophole for gain. We would appeal to rhino breeders to think again before proceeding with his auction,” said Greenwood.

It’s understood Hume, who is thought to own as many as 1,500 rhinoceros, made it a condition of the sale that the horns will have to remain in South Africa until global trade is unbanned, alternatively until foreign buyers are granted import and export permits from South Africa and their home countries.

The online sale will make it possible for buyers from other nations, including China, Vietnam and other nations most implicated in the illegal poaching and trade of rhino, to purchase the horns, according to the statement.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)