Local Rhino horn trade ban lifted

South Africa’s ban on the trade in rhino horn has been lifted, despite a Supreme Court of Appeal application against the ruling by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

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WildAid had raised concerns around the matter, stating that the moratorium needed to be reinstated immediately. There had been reports of "prominent private rhino owners who contested the moratorium hoping to attract East-Asian citizens to South Africa, to consume rhino horn in-country as a form of medical tourism”, according to the organisation.

This judgement did not relate to the international trade in rhino horn for commercial purposes, which was still prohibited.
The recommendations by the Interdepartmental Technical Advisory Committee as well as an inter-ministerial committee to investigate the legalising of horn trading on a commercial international scale, decided against it.

According to the DEA, the possession or trade in rhino horn or any [rhino-derived] products was subject to prior authorisation.

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"A person who is found in possession of a rhino horn, or who sells a rhino horn within the borders of the Republic of South Africa, or who exports a rhino horn from the Republic without the relevant permits, is guilty of an offence and may, if convicted, be liable to a fine not exceeding R10 million, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both such fine and imprisonment," the department stated.