The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy has commended the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s efforts towards detecting illegally obtained wildlife products, such as rhino horn. Sunday marks World Rhino Day.

More than 300 rhinos were poached in the country in the first half of 2019, a significant decline when compared to a peak of 1200 that were killed five years ago.

South Africa has continued to battle organised crime syndicates that are targeting its national and private parks as demand for rhino horn increases in Asia.

“Government commits to re-double its efforts to make sure that communities who live on the borders of our parks benefit from conservation and biodiversity economy, so that they are not vulnerable to the recruitment by syndicated poaching operations. We also note with appreciation the written partnership between the Department and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, which is aimed at enhancing detection capabilities at the ports of entry and exit through the use of highly trained canines. These canines will assist in screening cargo and luggage for wildlife products, including rhino horn,” says the Department’s spokesperson, Albi Modise. Author -Tshimo Maputla