A distinguished wildlife veterinarian in South Africa has been caught for unlawfully detaching the horns from 15 rhinos. Dr. Andre Charles Uys apparently dehorned the particular rhinos within the Maremani Game Reserve, situated in Limpopo Province.
Dr. Uys was already released on R10,000 (US $1,416) bail at the Musina Magistrate’s Court and is also scheduled to appear for a second time on March 18th.
The doctor is faced with a charge that includes breaking Section 57 (1) of the National Environment Management: Biodiversity Act No 10 of 2004 – An individual is prohibited from carrying out a restricted activity involved with a specimen associated with a listed endangered or protected species without having a permit granted with references to Chapter 7.
The particular public arrest was carried out as a result of the hard work of the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit, directed by the Hawks. At the present time, general public information and facts are unavailable with regards to the present whereabouts of the horns in addition to whether or not the horns have been confiscated by respective authorities.
Certainly not the first veterinarian associated with rhino horn criminal activity
This particular occurrence is certainly not the first time a veterinarian appears to have been suspected of rhino horn offences.
Last September, Dr. Karel Toet and Dr. Manie du Plessis associated with the Nylstroom animal clinic were actually detained in connection to a well known rhino horn syndicate, in conjunction with Dawie Groenewald (Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris).
The particular high-profile “Groenewald gang” is scheduled to appear once again in the court in April 2011, in order to deal with charges of assault, fraud, corruption, malicious damage to property, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, in addition to contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.
‘Insiders’ involved with unlawful rhino horn industry
An escalating volume of arrests with regard to rhino horn offences already have implicated “insiders” from within the South African conservation community, looking to take advantage of and cash in on the ignorance as well as misconceptions associated with the benefits of using rhino horn.
Currently there happens to be an in-depth investigation around this distressing subject matter – Are ‘Insiders’ Intentionally Fueling Demand for Illegal Rhino Horn?, which notes that nefarious business alliances, loophole abuse, private stockpile leakage, dehorning scams, and legalized trade speculation are exacerbating South Africa’s rhino crisis.
Already eight rhinos killed worldwide this year
2011 has already been off to a particular discouraging beginning.
When it comes to South Africa, the most up-to-date slaughtering of rhinos took place in KwaZulu-Natal. Previous to that, two rhinos had been murdered in Kruger National Park, a pregnant rhino ended up being slaughtered around the Hoedspruit area, in addition to another in close proximity to Musina. One more was slain in the Eastern Cape, within Kariega Game Reserve in the proximity of Kenton-on-Sea.
Globally, 1 rhino also has been murdered in Nepal in addition to one more in India, bringing the international death toll to eight since the beginning of this year.
During the course of 2010, 333 rhinos ended up being slaughtered in South Africa, just about tripling 2009’s total amount of 122.
Rhinocerous horn purchase prices ‘soar’ immediately after departing from Africa
Despite the fact that rhino poachers are generally believed to get paid approximately R25,000 for each and every kilogram when it comes to Mozambique, and only somewhere around R30,000 per horn in South Africa, the purchase price is without a doubt much more found in rhino horn consumer countries around the world.
Typical rhino horn weights are by and large determined by making use of three kilograms for black rhinos, and five and a half kilograms for white rhinos.
With the help of up-to-date forex rates in addition to average weights of white rhino horn, the more expensive Mozambique value of R25,000 per kilogram could quite possibly signify close to $20,000 US dollars (per horn) for murdering a rhino.
Having said that, the moment rhino horn actually leaves Africa, the purchase price soars.
When it comes to Vietnam, rhino horn possibly will without difficulty command USD $40, 000 per kilogram. The purchase price climbs even more significantly within China, to a number exceeding USD $60, 000 per kilogram (D. Anderson, TRAFFIC, pers. comm., 30 December 2010).
On going utilization of unlawful rhino horn in traditional ‘medicines’
At the root of the rhino catastrophe is most likely the persistent utilization of rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine.
Unlawful rhino horn is actually extremely desired to be used in traditional medicines in China and Vietnam, even though rhino horn has long been thoroughly investigated and possesses absolutely no medicinal qualities.
Dispersing Chinese footprint in Southern Africa
It has recently been observed the fact that the spreading Chinese presence inside Southern Africa seems to have positioned the actual demand for rhino horn perilously near to the supply, not to mention counter poaching studies already have linked the rise in rhino and elephant murders to a deluge of Chinese weapons in the area.
Abuse of CITES research loopholes
There are certainly additional fears that state-funded rhino horn use recommendations coming from China served as one of numerous reasons relating to the tremendous increase in rhino murders throughout Southern Africa.
Many of these proposals, which experts claim surfaced in 2008 and 2009, strongly encourage the utilization of rhino horn, and firmly advocates that the PRC government is trying to bypass CITES research provisions through process of blurring the lines between research and commercial trade in rhinos.