Rhino hunting moratorium will result in fewer rhino numbers

Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) has asked the DA to reconsider its request for a moratorium on rhino hunting.  

“A further moratorium (even temporary) on rhino hunting would immediately result in a decrease in rhino numbers while poaching will undoubtedly not only continue, but also increase, given the decrease in numbers of available rhino,” WRSA president Jacques Malan, says. “The monetary value of the specie is the only guarantee for sustainable conservation.” 

The WRSA’s request follows the DA MP Gareth Morgan’s call on Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, on Monday “to institute a short-term moratorium on rhino hunting to allow for an improvement in controls”. 

Reacting to Morgan’s request in Parliament last week, Malan asked him to reconsider the request until he has at least consulted the WRSA Board of Directors to help him make an informed decision that would help saving the rhino, “based on fact, not fiction”. 

Malan said although he appreciates Morgan’s concerns regarding rhino poaching, Morgan has not consulted with WRSA regarding this issue. WRSA is the only national organisation representing game farmers, including their game.” 

Malan said government’s current moratorium on the trade in rhino horn is a reflection of an unintended consequence. “There is an unquestionable causal relationship between the implementation of the mentioned moratorium and the present spate of Rhino poaching.” 

He added that game ranching is a commercial business and that in any business the financial principle of “if it pays, it stays” applies. “Game ranchers do not get any financial benefits from Government. We therefore have to pay our way.” 

He said with Morgan’s suggestion of a moratorium, the outcome will result in South Africa’s rhino loosing its total value. “Breeding in nature results in 50% of the offspring being male and that these numbers should be managed accordingly”, he added. 

“We have reached the point in this country where we have to work together to save the rhino in which game ranchers have invested millions of rands to ensure that our descendants would also be able to enjoy the beauty of rhino in South Africa, ” Malan adds.

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