State must urgently step in to stop rhino crisis – IFP
THE crisis facing rhinos is potentially one of total destruction and requires immediate and concerted efforts from government, the IFP said.
Chief whip in Parliament and environmental affairs spokesperson Narend Singh said the most stringent legislative protection and sanction should be enacted into law to protect them.
“Prosecutions involving alleged rhino poaching are fraught with controversy and possible corruption, are subject to inordinate delays from the accused and prosecution teams, and if and when justice does prevail, it is nothing more than a paltry slap on the wrist and fine.
“We are at war for our rhino, and yet government continues to act oblivious to their plight,” he said on Friday, World Rhino Day.
“We need more anti-poaching rangers, we have far too few.
“We must also ensure greater efforts in educating our communities and encouraging them to speak out against the criminal poaching syndicates that take cover within their areas.
“Demand reduction and particularly the decreasing of demand f rom countries like China and Vietnam is another key factor in this equation and the IFP remains against any form of trade in rhino horn.
“Stockpiling should not be permitted as this will inevitably find its way into illegal markets.
“We call for audits of all government and privately-owned horn stockpiles in South Africa.”
He said departments of environmental affairs and justice and constitutional development should approach “crisis with requisite amount of political will”. The scourge requires a co-ordinated, strategic and “singular” government approach because time was running out for them in South Africa, which had an estimated 20 000 black and white rhino.
IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN A PALTRY SLAP ON THE WRIST AND FINE