COORDINATED APPROACHED NEEDED TO CURB RHINO POACHING

The fact that a second rhino has been killed by poachers in the EC this year, highlights the importance of a coordinated approach between the South African Police, the Green Scorpions and the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs (DEDEA) and Tourism to combat this rising scourge.

Since January this year 85 rhino have been killed in South Africa. These killings are being fuelled by a 15-year high in Asian demand, according to new research by the World Wildlife Fund, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and their affiliated wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC. The report states that 12 rhinoceroses are now being poached each month in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Given the figures, this is not simply ad hoc poaching taking place, but the work of a sophisticated crime syndicate. The SA Police, Green Scorpions and DEDEA need to pull out all stops to halt the destruction of our natural resources. If this is not done, the international image of South Africa and particularly the Eastern Cape as being a haven for wildlife will be tainted.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 082 775 3444.