Members' Statement
IFP Calls For Another Save The Rhino Summit
By Peter Smith MP


National Assembly: Cape Town, 08 November 2011

 

 

Honourable Speaker:

 

The IFP notes with grave concern that yet another two white Rhino were shot dead on a farm near Hectorspruit at the weekend. Three of the five Rhino species globally are now critically endangered, while South Africa is the only country in Africa that still has a Rhino population.

 

We observe that Rhino poaching has now reach record-high levels in South Africa, with 348 rhinos killed in South Africa this year alone. 2011 also marked the year in which the World Wildlife Fund announced that Rhino in Vietnam have gone extinct.

 

The IFP acknowledges the immense work that is being done by organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund and various other conservation and community organisations, like Eblockwatch, who have launched initiatives to detect and stop poachers on our country's game farms.

 

However, we recognize that South Africa's Rhinos faces the real threat of extinction at the hands of international forces that are killing these animals because their horns are mistakenly believed to have magic medicinal properties, which are sought after in the East. It is not merely the images of dead and bloodied animals that touch us, but the fact that rhino, like all our fauna, are part of our nation's heritage.

 

The IFP therefore calls on all stakeholders, not only those responsible for conservation, but Government and the Executive, to urgently convene another "SAVE THE RHINO" summit so that we can explore ways to improve our collective response as a nation to fighting these ruthless and cruel poaching syndicates, to prevent their heinous acts of cruelty, and to save our Rhinos from extinction.