SA may sell its massive rhino horn stockpile in 2016





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  1. #1
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    Default SA may sell its massive rhino horn stockpile in 2016

    A decision on whether South Africa will go ahead with a once-off sale of its massive rhino horn stockpile will be taken in April next year, Environment Minister Edna Molewa said on Tuesday. Briefing the media at Parliament, she said government had not yet taken a position on the international proposal.
    "We shall not do so until the committee has completed its work and presented its findings," she told reporters.
    The committee referred to is a 22-member commission of inquiry, appointed to make recommendations to government on a range of rhino-related matters.
    The most important one is whether a proposal for the legalisation of trade in rhino horn should be made at next year's 17th Congress of Parties (COP17) to the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
    Molewa announced on Tuesday - through the commission's chair, Nana Magomola - the names of its members.
    They include representatives from law-enforcement agencies, the scientific community, immigration services, the conservation industry, private wildlife owners and non-governmental organisations.
    The minister said any proposals by the commission "will be based on sound research, and will have been reached after canvassing as wide a range of views as has been possible".
    Responding to a question, she said the decision on whether or not to go ahead with the proposal to Cites would be made six months ahead of the 2016 conference, to be held in South Africa in October that year.
    Speaking to Sapa later on Monday, Molewa said government's rhino horn stockpiles now totalled 21 tons. She said this figure did not include horns in private stockpiles.
    The 21 tons could be worth as much as $1.36bn, based on reports that rhino horn currently sells, illegally, for about $65 000 per kilogram in Vietnam, where demand is high.
    Referring to her commission's terms of reference, Magomola said it would look at incentives to promote trade in live rhino.
    "We will also consider incentivising the trade and possession of rhino, as a live commodity, by developing and enhancing an understanding of current forms of investment, drivers and incentives."
    The commission would look at all facets of trading in rhino horn.
    "Among some of the things that could be looked at is strict controllable trade, where there will be a once-off sale of stockpiles; possible government-to-government trade, or more open regulated trade; the benefits and the risk associated with the different options; and, possible trade partners and the criteria to be met by these states, [as well as] the conditions and the financial mechanism would also have to be considered."
    Such markets and mechanisms would be examined closely.
    "There will be a consideration of the response or change in the market, looking at the implications and the mechanism we will use to respond to the change in the market and supply and demand in the trade," she said.
    A total of 1214 rhino were poached for their horns in South Africa last year.
    Molewa said the poaching rate had not yet reached a "tipping point", where it exceeded the birth rate.

    - SAPA

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    The believers will be HARD at work when they hear the news
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    A total of 1214 rhino were poached for their horns in South Africa last year.
    Molewa said the poaching rate had not yet reached a "tipping point", where it exceeded the birth rate.

    - SAPA
    The poaching rate may not exceed the birth rate, but Rhino's die of natural causes too.

    My understanding is that the total death rate exceeded the birth rate (i.e. population reduction) in 2013.

    Lets hope that sense prevails and we at least go to CITES supporting trade.

    Then of course we have to get it past CITES....

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    My personal feelings .... dump the whole blooming lot on the world market at a budget price, go in at $10 000.00 per kilogram max. Don't care who buys, just flood the market totally and legalise the sale thereof.
    End of illegal trade and poaching ... or have I simply got it wrong ?
    Unfortunately a case of tooooooo many cooks and the broth is very much spoiled at this stage, nobody seems to want to sort the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Faddel View Post
    My personal feelings .... dump the whole blooming lot on the world market at a budget price, go in at $10 000.00 per kilogram max. Don't care who buys, just flood the market totally and legalise the sale thereof.
    End of illegal trade and poaching ... or have I simply got it wrong ?
    Unfortunately a case of tooooooo many cooks and the broth is very much spoiled at this stage, nobody seems to want to sort the problem.
    Dave, you can say that again !
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    At the current poaching rates +/- 100 rhinos/month , another 1600 rhinos will be killed assuming that the rate of poaching stays at the current levels by the time the next Cites conference takes place.

    I have no doubt that South Africa will actively canvass for the moratorium on the trade in rhino horn to be lifted.

    There are 2 issues that concerns me:

    1) If the proposal is accepted , it will probably be referred to a working committee. The committee will have to come up with a working solution after consulting with interested parties to implement the policy.
    This process can take a year or two ......another +/- 2800 rhinos killed?

    2) Cites may turn the proposal down.
    I don`t wish to sound like a prophet of doom but I cannot see Cites making a u-turn , admitting that it was wrong and that the previous policy decision was a dismal failure.

    Now where does that leave us?

    Do we wait for the next Cites conference and repeat this exercise?

    At what stage should South Africa take a rational decision in the interest of our wildlife heritage?

    We don`t need proof that the current policy is a failure.

    In spite of millions of rands spend , the poaching graph shows an impressive growth , year on year.
    Money that should be allocated to the overall management of our wildlife resources using a holistic approach.

    The committee appointed will recommend to government that the trade be legalized , Cites turns down the request of South Africa and a possibly a few other countries to allow the trade in horn to ensure the survival of the rhinos? Unless it is a sustainable resource , extinction is a certainty.

    Time to go it alone with other interested parties (with a vested interest) to protect their dwindling resources?
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    Some one said the other day even if its legalize we would not be able to meet the demand. But the way it going now there is no hope to safe the rhino. At least if legalize I am sure many farmer will get in there and breed rhinos.
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    Desperate situations warrant desperate measures. I don't see any other choice.

    It might make it difficult to trace illegal rhino horn.

    We in Africa spend too much time worrying about the opinions of the rest of the world. There has been minimal pressure from the wealthy nations on countries that sell illegal animal products and plunder our seas. They will not act effectively as long as it does not suit their financial and political agendas.
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    ...and not a mention of the black hole the money will fall into ?
    Trusting lot you guys !
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    To my mind it is not so much about the money but about trying to ruin the market price for rhino horn.

    If it becomes freely available I think it will also loose much of its mystique and snob value in the east. The more people use it as an aphrodisiac, the more will realize that it does not work. I don't think that increased availability will increase the market for this product, it is already there. Use as a prestigious dagger handle will loose its prestige. Who can predict accurately exactly what the effect of free availability will be and who can interpret the vagaries of oriental and Middle Eastern fashion and fetishes? We have little to loose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    ...and not a mention of the black hole the money will fall into ?
    Trusting lot you guys !
    Who cares?

    As long as something is done to increase rhino population again, who cares who or what is scoring financialy from it?

    This might just incentivise private owners to keep their rhinos and sell the horns at profit.

    At the moment all private rhino owners I know is racing to sell their stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Faddel View Post
    My personal feelings .... dump the whole blooming lot on the world market at a budget price, go in at $10 000.00 per kilogram max. Don't care who buys, just flood the market totally and legalise the sale thereof.
    End of illegal trade and poaching ... or have I simply got it wrong ?
    Unfortunately a case of tooooooo many cooks and the broth is very much spoiled at this stage, nobody seems to want to sort the problem.
    This a short term solution in my view, and will achieve very little.

    They should rather sell it marginally cheaper than the going black market rate to get as much money as possible to re-invest in rhino protection initiatives.

    The long term solution, I believe, is to legalise trade and encourage private landowners to increase their breeding stock.
    Last edited by LandyAndy; 2015/02/11 at 07:20 AM.
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    May. I heard October next year for results of a feasibility. Stockpile isn't a once off and we know that doesn't work flooding the market doesn't either as a handful of buyers take it all and control the supply and prices.

    Regardless of the decision SA might make cites still needs convincing so this is all maybes and far far off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenD View Post
    May. I heard October next year for results of a feasibility. Stockpile isn't a once off and we know that doesn't work flooding the market doesn't either as a handful of buyers take it all and control the supply and prices.

    Regardless of the decision SA might make cites still needs convincing so this is all maybes and far far off.
    By that time another 2000+ rhinos will be poached
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    I ended up with 4 rhinos that were "donated" to me.

    Private landowners are so desperate to get rid of their rhinos , they are prepared to sell it at a loss just to get rid of them.

    If you look at the animals on offer at game auctions over the past 5-10 years , it is quite obvious that the demand for rhinos declined dramatically.

    No surprise really.....why invest huge money in a worthless animals that will end up costing you a lot of money to safeguard with no or very little prospect getting any form of return on your investment?

    I don`t have reliable figures but a thumbsuck puts the number of rhinos on private land at around 3700/3800.

    The concern is that a lot of breeding areas have been lost i.e. smaller game farms.

    Once again no reliable figures are available but I estimate that less than 50 % of smaller game farms that used to stock rhinos still have rhinos.
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    "The 21 tons could be worth as much as $1.36bn"

    Wonder how much of that money will go 'missing' in cadre pockets...
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    Do they really want to stop the trade in rhino horn? "They" know who these people are and where they stay. Everybody is happy if 3 poachers are shot in the KNP. Who cares, there are millions(cannon fodder) waiting in the wings to take their place. This is just too easy money to make and it won't stop till the last rhino is dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gleneagles View Post

    1) If the proposal is accepted , it will probably be referred to a working committee. The committee will have to come up with a working solution after consulting with interested parties to implement the policy.
    This process can take a year or two ......another +/- 2800 rhinos killed?
    The CITES rules say amendments adopted at a CoP meeting enter into force 90 days after that meeting (ArticleXV.1 paragraph C)
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