The world's largest rhino breeder is now selling rhino horns online

Elias Hubbard
August 21, 2017

"If I were to sell you a rhino horn before this court ruling, harvested from a live and unharmed rhino we would both go to jail because there was no legal way to change ownership of the rhino horn".

But the High Court in Pretoria on Sunday ruled in favour of the auction's South African organiser, John Hume, who runs the world's biggest rhino farm.

An online auction of rhino horn is set to open Monday, after a court in South Africa approved the site which has outraged conservationists. There has been misrepresentation claiming that South Africa does not have systems in place to ensure that any prospective domestic sale of rhino horn takes place in a strictly regulated manner - and does not contribute to an increase in the illegal global trade.

Hume said selling horns from unharmed rhinos at a cheaper price would destroy the black market and the demand for poached rhinos. He wants to place 500kg, or 264 horns, under the hammer.

Environmental groups, such as International Fund for Animal Welfare, say legal horn sales create more incentive for poaching.

On a claim that Minister Edna Molewa is "acting irresponsibly" by allowing the on-line auction, or any sale/ trade domestically in rhino horn, the department said government has a Constitutional mandate and a duty in terms of the NEMBA to regulate the domestic trade of rhino horn.

South Africa, home to more than 80 percent of the world's rhino population, bears the brunt of rhino poaching, having lost a total of 529 rhinos this year, official statistics show.

White rhinos almost went extinct last century but South African conservation efforts and private game farms have swelled their numbers in recent decades though poachers are again putting them in danger.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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