South African Judge, Legodi, said today in court that that he was setting aside the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horns due to “substantial non-compliance” regarding consultation and stakeholder involvement.
John Hume and Johan Kruger brought the case to court earlier this year. Today judgment was found in favor of lifting the ban.
Albina Hume, who runs the Future4rhino Facebook page, and her husband have been fighting to lift the trade ban on Rhino.
In a statement she made to this reporter via Facebook, she said in early November, "Saving rhinos on the ground and living the rhino wars on a daily basis is a challenge not many have experienced."
She went on to say that, it is a "stressful exercise." They work on the ground with their rhinos while "activists keep on fighting about ideas on how to save the rhino.
The war on trade in rhino horn has failed to stop the use of horn, simple as that."
Today, they won a court case that could mean that once permits and license fees are negotiated with the ministry of the environment, that they will be free to trade their rhino horns.
Albina and her husband John, farm in an area near Kruger National Park, and are one of the largest commercial breeders of rhinos in the world. It was costing him three to five million South African Rand every month to maintain the security needed to keep them alive.
While the pro-trade camp will be celebrating, this court decision is likely to spark off international outrage. Facebook fury rages with comments that include:
· This is a total disaster for wildlife. The elephants will be next for tusks, lions for skins.
· THIS destroys any chance of the survival of Rhino. Lodges will be selling the horns like hot cakes
· What? Open season on rhinos?.
· Sad judgment of the year
The domestic ban on rhino was declared in 2009, but people who had invested in rhino were upset because there was no notice in the newspapers. At the time, the Minister of the Environment said that they had published the notices in the Government gazettes.The Minister of the environment has said they will appeal the finding of the court. She said in a statement that, "It must be emphasized that all trade in rhino horn will be subjected to the issuing of the relevant permits.".
The international ban in rhino trade remains in place in terms of the CITES ban on rhino trade.