PROA, based in South Africa, recently announced the launch of Rhino Horn Trade Africa (RHTA), an initiative that will facilitate the legal trade of rhino horn.
RHTA will facilitate trade via its website, www.rhta.co.za, and will assist both buyers and sellers of legal horn when it comes to matters of compliance, including Finance Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) requirements and the verification of permits.
The initiative is intended to prevent illegal horns from entering the market, according to a statement from PROA.
RHTA will also assist traders to certify their rhinos and/or horns in line with Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) laws and regulations, the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) regulations and the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act No. 10 of 2004, as well as The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the statement noted.
PROA chairman Pelham Jones said between 2009 and 2017, the private sector spent about R2 billion on rhino security and management costs the sector had not been able to recover.
RHTA chairperson Allan Thomson said the revenue generated from sales would be viewed as conservation revenue that will assist rhino owners to continue protecting and caring for their animals, which they currently do at personal expense, with no incentives or outside funding.
“Importantly, a percentage of sales can be ploughed back into rhino conservation and associated community projects,” he said.
Last year the Constitutional Court dismissed an appeal by the DEA to maintain a moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn, legalising the sale of rhino horn in South Africa.
However, a global ban on the trade, which is regulated by a United Nations convention, remains in place.