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Fight against rhino poaching continues

The Department of Environmental Affairs made a renewed call for action by all South Africans against the ongoing scourge of rhino poaching.

"It is clear we need to continue working with all stakeholders and our entire South African society if this war on rhino poaching is to be won.

It is clear that this is an organised crime. In dealing with organised criminals we need inputs and action from all South Africans in an organised manner," said spokesperson for the department, Albi Modise.

The latest statistics on rhinos poached for 2012 stand at 388, with the Kruger National Park having lost a total of 241 rhinos since the beginning of the year.

Limpopo, the North-West and KwaZulu-Natal continue to be the provinces most targeted by poachers, collectively accounting for 119 of the total rhinos poached this year.

Operation Rhino still remains a standing agenda item of the National Joints Committee
. As a result of this ongoing cooperation, 203 people have been arrested in 2012 alone for rhino poaching and related activities. Of these, 176 were poachers, ten receivers or couriers and 17 were couriers or buyers.

Numerous other identified interventions continue to be implemented in an attempt to curb rhino poaching.

These interventions range from publication and implementation of the norms and standards for the marking of rhinoceros horn and for the hunting of rhinoceros for trophy hunting purposes to the Council of the Global Environment Facility having approved R25m of funding aimed at strengthening our wildlife forensic capabilities.

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