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SA suspends issuing rhino-hunting license to VN

SA suspends issuing rhino-hunting license to VN

Sunday, October 21, 2012, 11:48 GMT+7

South African government has suspended the issue of trophy hunting permits for white rhino to Vietnamese nationals, Ms. Roopa Singh, acting chief communications director of SA’s Department of Environmental Affairs, has told Tuoi Tre in an email.

Singh said the suspension came while the SA government is waiting for the verification from Vietnamese side whether or not white rhinoceros trophies exported from South Africa to Vietnam are still in the possession of the legal hunters in accordance with regulations of Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species in 2010 and 2011.

As regulated by CITES, only hunters in whose name the hunting and export permits were issued can legally possess the trophy.

Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi told Tuoi Tre on October 20 that Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and SA’s Department of Environment Affairs are working together to accomplish all necessary formalities to sign the memorandum of understanding of law-enforcement and biodiversity agreement between the two nations.

The memorandum is greatly expected to be signed in the context that rhino poaching levels have soared sharply in recent years.

A total of 455 rhinos have been lost to illegal killings since the beginning of this year, already surpassing the record annual tally of 448 rhinos for 2011, according to a statement by SA department of Environment.

There has been surging demand for rhino horn in Vietnam because there is a belief that rhino horn is able to treat everything from hangovers to cancer.

More than 100 Vietnamese nationals have been licensed to import rhino from South Africa, according to figures from the CITES Vietnam Authority, which manages the international trade of endangered wildlife.

More recently, a local banking tycoon has lost a rhino horn valued at VND4 billion (roughly US$90,000) to thieves.

Tuoi Tre





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