CAPE TOWN, (Xinhua) --
A Constitutional Court order
setting aside the moratorium on domestic trade in rhino
horns does not mean unregulated trade in rhino horns,
Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said on
are studying the implications of the order handed down
by the Constitutional Court, it should be noted that the
court’s decision should not be construed to mean that
the domestic trade in rhino horn may take place in an
unregulated fashion,” Molewa said.
speaking after the Constitutional Court on Wednesday
dismissed an application by Molewa to overturn a 2015
order by the High Court in Pretoria to set aside a
moratorium on domestic trade in rhino horns with
immediate and retrospective effect.
moratorium came into effect, the Department of
Environmental Affairs has strengthened its laws,
regulations and systems to ensure no regulatory
loopholes exist with regards to the possession of rhino
horns as well as a possible future domestic trade in
Constitutional Court judgment does not mean that persons
are allowed to trade (including selling, donating, or in
any way acquiring or disposing of rhino horns) without a
permit issued by the relevant provincial conservation
department, Molewa said.
absence of the moratorium, it must be emphasized that
all domestic trade in rhino horns will be subjected to
the issuance of the relevant permits, Molewa said.
“It must be
furthermore emphasized that this matter does not relate
to the international trade in rhino horn for commercial
purposes. Commercial international trade in rhino horn
is still prohibited in terms of the provisions of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” said Molewa.
Africa, home to about 90 percent of the world’s rhino
population, 1,175 rhinos were poached in 2015.
government introduced the moratorium on rhino horn trade
to curb rhino poaching. But private ranchers say that
the moratorium has failed to stop the scourge, and
therefore should be lifted.