FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOHANNESBURG: 10 AUGUST 2018
On 8 August, John Donaldson, the Chair of the Scientific Authority, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), presented findings in response to the public participation process in the lead up to CITES CoP18, to be held in Sri Lanka in May 2019.
Various presentations were previously made to SANBI for inclusion in the findings, which will be presented to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for further consideration.
The Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA) is gratified by SANBI’s conclusions, which state that:
- The South African white rhinoceros population does not meet the biological criteria for listing on Appendix I, which prohibits trade in species classified as highly endangered.
- The white rhino does, however, meet the criteria for listing on Appendix II.
- A limited trade allowing for the export of rhinoceros horn sourced from a specified and exclusive list of properties should be allowed to continue.
- The trophy hunting quota for black rhino should be set at 0.5% of the population.
“We are highly supportive of the Scientific Authority’s findings, which are aligned with our own position on trade,” says Pelham Jones, Chairman of PROA. “We welcome the recognition that the white rhino belongs on Appendix II – a correction in terms of CITES’ own criteria. This allows for the removal of any restrictions desirable for the long term-conservation of the species, including the sale of horn from specific properties, which means that owners can convert their stockpiles into much-needed revenue that can be ploughed back into conservation.”
Jones said the increased hunting quota on black rhino is also a sound decision that will bolster conservation revenue.
“We are supportive of this because, where there is a perception that it is unethical to hunt rhino bulls because rhinos are being poached in high numbers, the reality is that there is a substantive excess of bulls, which are notoriously problematic to manage,” he says. “Bull-on-bull and bull-on-cow mortality is a reality and injuries frequently require veterinary intervention. The Scientific Authority’s finding reinforces the message that these animals can be hunted and the revenue can be used for conservation ends.
“We are heartened by the Scientific Authority’s findings, which lend a hopeful aspect to the deliberations ahead of CITES CoP18.”
Issued on behalf of PROA.