Opposition points out poachers would be encouraged henceforth as South Africa has approved its first online auction of rhino horns, the most controversial product in the country.
The auction to start Wednesday. It will be a three-day selloff and is organized by the owner of world’s largest rhino farm, John Hume.
Hume has his farm north of Johannesburg and owns about 1,500 rhinos there. He said without hiccups the auction to start on Wednesday at 1200 GMT.
According to him there are six tonnes of rhino horns stockpiled at his farm and currently he would be selling 264 pieces of those weighing 500 kg, which is around 1,100 pounds.
He adds the horns are harvested at his farm by tranquilizing and dehorning the rhinos. The technique is not illegal as it is humane and also wards off poachers.
Activists believe the online auction will increase trafficking too and also to undermine global ban on rhino trade that was first implemented some 40 years ago.
Animal protection charity Humane Society says, “Any domestic trade in rhino horn undermines enforcement and demand reduction efforts to battle wildlife trafficking in the rest of Africa, China, Vietnam.”
The charity has opened a petition too urging the South African government not to issue such permits to potential horn buyers.
Meanwhile, it is important to note here that South Africa’s top court lifted such ban in April this year.
Hume received the permit to selloff the horns on Monday, though it was delayed due to a last-minute challenge.