Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Rhino Poaching Toll Reaches New High


Rhino Poaching Toll Reaches New High

Cape Town, January 10, 2013 – Rhino poaching statistics released today by the South African government reveal that a record 668 rhinos were killed across the country in 2012, an increase of nearly 50 per cent from the 448 rhinos lost to poachers in 2011. An additional five rhinos have been killed since the beginning of this year.

A majority of the rhino deaths, 425, occurred in Kruger National Park, South Africa’s premier safari destination. Poaching incidents in Kruger were up sharply from 252 in 2011.

Arrests of suspected poachers and smugglers also increased in 2012, with 267 people now facing rhino-related charges. In November, a Thai man was sentenced to a record 40 years in prison for conspiring to smuggle rhino horns to Asia.

A recent TRAFFIC report found that rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties and are seen as highly desirable status symbols in some Asian countries, notably Viet Nam. The increased value of rhino horn has enticed well-organized, well-financed and highly-mobile criminal groups to become involved in rhino poaching.

“Viet Nam must curtail the nation’s rhino horn habit, which is fuelling a poaching crisis in South Africa,” said Sabri Zain, TRAFFIC’s Director of Advocacy.

“Rhinos are being illegally killed, their horns hacked off and the animals left to bleed to death, all for the frivolous use of their horns as a hangover cure.”

In December, Viet Nam and South Africa signed an agreement aimed at bolstering law enforcement and tackling illegal wildlife trade including rhino horn trafficking. The agreement paves the way for improved intelligence information sharing and joint efforts by the two nations to crack down on the criminal syndicates behind the smuggling networks.

“Whilst we commend South Africa and Viet Nam for signing a Memorandum of Understanding regarding biodiversity conservation, we now need to see a joint Rhino Plan of Action being implemented, leading to more of these rhino horn seizures,” said Dr Jo Shaw, WWF-SA’s Rhino Co-ordinator. “There is also an urgent need to work closely with countries which are transit routes for illicit rhino horn, specifically Mozambique.”

Two Vietnamese men were detained in separate incidents earlier this month in Viet Nam and Thailand for smuggling rhino horns, which were believed to have been exported from Mozambique.

Both Mozambique and Viet Nam have been given failing grades by WWF’s Wildlife Crime Scorecard for failing to enforce laws meant to protect rhinos. The study also outlines important actions needed by South Africa, such as ensuring those arrested for rhino crimes are prosecuted and punished.

###

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of IUCN and WWF.

To learn more about WWF and TRAFFIC’s campaign visit panda.org/killthetrade and follow us on Twitter @WWF_media.

WWF - for a living planet

We need one big voice to save world's smallest, rarest marine dolphins. Speak out for Maui's at: facebook.com/WWFNewZealand

WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On
The Runway Extension’s Latest Court Failure

The Director of Civil Aviation (CAA) has also been ordered told back to the drawing board to properly do the job of evaluating the size of the safety areas required for the extension, in full accord with New Zealand’s international obligations. The pilots union were also compensated by the Court of Appeal judges for their costs in bringing the court action.

Interestingly, the reasoning in the Court of Appeal decision almost exactly mirrored the detailed critique of the original High Court decision made in this Werewolf article last October. More>>

 

Torture: Corrections Breaches UN Convention

The Department of Corrections has breached the Convention against Torture as well as its own legislation, in the way it manages some at-risk prisoners in New Zealand prisons, the Chief Ombudsman says. More>>

ALSO:

District Court Changes In Force: Historic Day For New Zealand Courts

New Zealand District Court judges are ready to play their part in ensuring new governing legislation for the structure of Australasia’s biggest court further enhances the administration of open justice and serves New Zealanders well. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week... Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: Government To Apply Pay Equity Principles

Legal changes are not yet in effect but the State Services Commission, on behalf of the government, and the Council of Trade Unions on behalf of unions, have agreed to apply the principles to current pay equity claims. More>>

ALSO:

Throwing Stoners: English Blames Failed Drug Tests For Unemployment

Bill English’s diversionary tactic of condemning of a generation of Kiwi workers as a bunch of drug-takers cannot hide his government’s failure to create opportunities for decent work, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news