Rhino poaching deaths down - Minister Molewa

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa gave an update at Parliament on Monday morning on government's efforts in dealing with the scourge.

FILE: Officials from the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit take a DNA from a dead rhino. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Government has announced a national decrease in the number of rhino poaching since the start of the year.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa gave an update at Parliament on Monday morning on government's efforts in dealing with the scourge.

The Integrated Strategic Management Approach of Rhinoceros was adopted by Cabinet in August 2014.

It’s a multi-disciplinary initiative to combat the threat posed by rhino poaching.

Molewa says that from January 2017 to last month, 529 rhino have been poached, compared to 542 over the same period last year.

"We are happy to report that the Skukuza Regional Court has been sitting since March 2017 and is now fully functional with a number of successful prosecutions."

The Kruger National Park has seen a 34% drop in poaching since January.

The carcasses of 243 of the animals have been found in the reserve, compared to 354 last year.