African rhino populations are under severe threat from poachers, who kill rhinos to obtain horn for illegal trade. Over the 9-year period between 2008 and 2016, an estimated 7124 rhinos were poached in Africa, with the main focus of this killing occurring in South Africa, where 1054 rhinos were killed during 2016 alone. The poaching continues at an unsustainable rate, despite the international trade ban on horn and numerous law enforcement interventions from range state countries. One strategy proposed to reduce the poaching is the implementation of a legal international trade in rhino horn through the sustainable collection and sale of horn. This idea is controversial and has divided governments and conservationists worldwide, with one of the main concerns being that there may not be enough horn to satisfy the markets. Although the idea of trade is not new, there are no published estimates of how much horn could be provided on a sustainable basis. Based on recent rhino population estimates and feedback from private rhino owners, we estimate the annual potential supply of horn that could be obtained within South Africa from four sources: natural mortalities, dehorning, trophy hunting and stockpiled horn. Using different scenarios of horn production we show that the mass of horn that could be obtained varies from 5319 to 13,356 kg per year.
Van Blerk, Chris; University of Pretoria. Faculty of Veterinary Science(2016-06-03)
Organised by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) to take place from 18 to 24 June, the collaborative action planning workshop will host representatives of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildlife Trade ...
Research Matters; University of Pretoria. Faculty of Veterinary Science; Nkonyane, Buyisiwe(2016-07-11)
At the University of Pretoria's Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at Onderstepoort, Dr Cindy Harper and her team have developed a ground-breaking technique to collect and catalogue DNA from rhinos and rhino horns.
Van Blerk, Chris; University of Pretoria. Faculty of Veterinary Science(2016-07-03)
The Faculty of Veterinary Science’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) of the University of Pretoria was instrumental in the announcement last week of the international expansion of rhino horn DNA testing at the RhODIS® ...