On the surface, the upcoming legal auction of rhino horn set to begin on August 21 might appear to be a harmless propaganda exercise, but it may in fact signal a deepening of the rhino crisis.
South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has declared that she plans to permit the trade in rhino horn domestically and, in what looks like a loophole big enough to drive a tractor through, the export internationally of horn for ‘personal purposes’.
South Africa is about to permit the export of lion bones to produce fake tiger wine but has given the public almost no time to object. The permit will allow an annual export of 800 skeletons to Asia.
SANBI’s recommendation to the Department of Environmental Affairs to allow export of 800 captive-bred lion skeletons from South Africa is coming under fire from Humane Society International and the producer of the film Blood Lions.