This is HUGE!
And could make for some HUGE changes.
Game farmer who had brought the application says it is a ‘monumentous’ day for the survival of the animals, and that costs of defending the rhino has sky-rocketed.
From today it will be legal to trade in rhino horn in South Africa after the High Court in Pretoria this morning set aside government’s 2009 ban on domestic trade in rhino horn, with those supporting the move arguing it is the only way to prevent the otherwise-inevitable extinction of the animals.
Judge Francis Legodi read out his court order in less than five minutes before handing down his 37-page judgment in the application by Malelane game farmer John Hume and Limpopo farmer Johan Kruger. Although government is expected to appeal the ruling, Hume said he hopes “sanity would prevail”.
Rhino breeder John Hume’s attorney Izak du Toit gave an indication of what it is like trying to protect rhino from poachers. “You really need an army to protect your rhino,” he said. You need soldiers with automatic firearms, night vision, helicopters… If you don’t, you’re simply outgunned.”
Meanwhile, Hume was very happy. “This is a momentous judgment. I would just hope that the world understands that if I don’t sell rhino, my whole rhino herd would be dead within the next ten years.”
He said the security costs of safeguarding his rhino had gone up dramatically and was at this stage costing far more than feeding or any other costs.
“It (the court order lifting the moratorium) is not a magic wand that has been waved. You still need a permit to sell and we will have to ask government what their conditions are.
“Hopefully government will also eventually understand that unless we get that money, we will have many dead rhinos.”
Hume said he would fight any appeal by the government, but hoped that sanity would prevail and that they would not drag out the process any further.
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