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New measures to curb rhino poaching

By Mvuzo Ponono | Jan 16, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 5 ]

MINISTER of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa announced yesterday that the government would work with law enforcement agencies to curb rhino poaching in South Africa.

"The government views the illegal killing of this national treasure in a very serious light and will continue to fight against this crime jointly with our law enforcement agencies," Molewa said.

Speaking at a press briefing in Pretoria, Molewa said that a number of initiatives were already under way to deal with the scourge of killing rhinos for their horns.

The department is working closely with the SA Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and the SA National Defence Force.

"We have established the national biodiversity investigators forum specifically for multi-departmental cooperation and information sharing with various law enforcement agencies," she said.

Molewa added that a national wildlife reaction unit had also been established. According to the minister, the return of the SANDF to monitoring the 350km border between the Kruger National Park and Mozambique had resulted in a decrease in poaching last year.

"It has been found necessary that our border be patrolled by the SANDF. Just their presence is a deterrent," Molewa said.

About 150 new rangers will be deployed to the Kruger Park this year. They will add to the 500 who are already employed.

"The department will implement a decision to deploy conservation specialists at the country's key designated ports of entry," she said.

Molewa said that her department had been in talks with China and Vietnam and memorandums would be signed in the first half of this year to ensure proper wildlife tracking and enforcement.

"Both these countries have pledged their commitment to partner us in addressing this scourge."

The minister said 448 rhinos were killed last year. Eight rhinos have reportedly been killed in the Kruger Park in the past two weeks.

Two men were shot dead by rangers in a shootout in the Kruger Park recently. Two alleged suspects who survived the gun battle were later apprehended and are currently in police custody.

Environmentalist Melissa Weavind, director of People for the Liberation of Animals, said: "Any news about protecting our national heritage is good news, but we need stricter measures.

"We need to mete out harsher sentences to offenders."

COMMENTS [ 5 ]

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let this animals go to extinction, and before they do lets cash in on it, dinosours beecane extinc some millions of yrs ago, but through technology i can proudly say i know how they looked like. let rhinos go extinct who cares, they chow lots of grass and produce lots of green house methane, whyb save them, take away the ivory industry from poachers and let the owners of private game lodges decide what they will do with their rhinos after selling the much priced horn

Jan 16, 2012 9:29 | 0 replies

Why are these Rhinos (or game at large) owned by Whites? I'm not condeming the killing of rhinos but why is it for "white folks only"?. Easy come, easy go!!

Jan 16, 2012 10:48 | 0 replies

Molewa added that a national wildlife reaction unit had also been established. According to the minister, the return of the SANDF to monitoring the 350km border between the Kruger National Park and Mozambique had resulted in a decrease in poaching last year
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why the h3ll did they stop in the first place? we wouldn't be where we are now

Jan 16, 2012 2:14 | 0 replies

cocaine cums via maputo, zol via swaziland, having cops to men this boarders ment smooth flow of drugs for the drug dealing tycoons of the anc. the military cannot be controlled as easy as the fat and lazy boys in blue

Jan 16, 2012 2:35 | 0 replies

The_Only_1
Why are these Rhinos (or game at large) owned by Whites? I'm not condeming the killing of rhinos but why is it for "white folks only"?. Easy come, easy go!!
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You're welcome to go purchase a game farm with game on it.....nothing stopping you at all, quite a few for sale if you look around. You'll be a little livid if you do buy one and some poacher kills your R500 000 rhino for it's horn though.

Ignorance is bliss.

Jan 16, 2012 2:48 | 0 replies