Pursue and punish rhino poachers more strictly

2014-09-02
Dr Pieter Mulder

Relentless police action and heavy punishment of rhino poachers are needed to rescue the white rhino species from becoming extinct and the FF Plus even supports hot pursuit operations in Mozambique and other countries as a deterrent, Dr. Pieter Mulder, Leader of the FF Plus says.

Dr. Mulder, during a parliamentary discussion on rhino poaching and the impact thereof on the country’s heritage said that a lot of effort is made and a lot of money is used to protect South Africa’s cultural and natural heritage.

He said it is therefore all the more tragic that a myth which holds no truth, is causing this slaughter of an extremely threatened species.

“More than a thousand rhinos were killed in 2013. This year we are already close to seven hundred. And this because some people are prepared to pay more money for rhino horns than for gold because they believe it holds certain medicinal value.

“Research has shown that the horns do not hold any medicinal value. If you want to test it yourself you can file and drink your own nails. The effect will be the same,” Dr. Mulder said.

About the deep-rooted superstitions pertaining to rhino horns, Dr. Mulder spoke of talks he held as deputy minister of agriculture with the minister of Vietnam about the issue. The person shocked him when he told him of all the medicinal values of rhino horn and how it could be used for high blood pressure and even for cancer.

“It is clear that we have a huge educational task within and outside of South Africa. In addition to stricter actions and punishments, a lot of attention could be given to the advantages and disadvantages of our cross-border national park with Mozambique.

“The investigation into the legal sale of rhino horns should also be stepped up. Here too we are aware of the advantages and disadvantages but the crisis is so great that it is worth the effort to look at all possible solutions,” Dr. Mulder said.

 

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