South Africa and Vietnam to Discuss Illegal Rhino Horn Trade


This Friday there is a meeting scheduled between the Department of International Relations and Co-operation and a delegation from Vietnam which conservation groups hope will end with a commitment from both countries to take the illegal trade in rhino horns, and the conservation of the animal itself, more seriously.

In the first half of 2012, 262 rhinos had already been killed in South Africa and many of the horns harvested from these animals could have been headed for Vietnam according to data from the World Wide Fund for Nature. In their 2012 Wildlife Crime Scorecard, Vietnam is shown as the country with the highest “wildlife crime score.”

The conservation group doesn’t appear to be alone in their assessment. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, which will also be present at the meeting, also singled Vietnam out as a threat to South Africa’s rhino population.

East and Southern Africa programme officer of large mammal trade at Traffic, Jo Shaw, said that it was hoped that the meeting would result in a signed commitment from both countries to take action to curb rhino poaching and horn trading.

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