While the dust from the first legal rhino horn auction in South Africa is still settling, plans for another one are already under way .
But the new auction has been met by both strong support and opposition.
North West rhino breeder John Hume is still counting the profits of his online auction that ran last month, and the Private Rhino Owners’ Association (PROA) branded the event as a huge breakthrough for rhino owners and their efforts to fight the scourge of poaching.
However, animal rights groups have hit back, saying no good can come of an auction like this and believe it will only contribute to the illegal trade in animal parts, including the black market rhino horn trade.
PROA chairman Pelham Jones said the next rhino horn auction could take place within the next two or three months, and his organisation was working to establish a control body that would assist in the smooth operation of these auctions.
“We want to congratulate John Hume on what he achieved. We believe this was a big step in the right direction for expanding the domestic trade in rhino horn,” Jones said.
“We are looking to keep a close eye on the trade and make sure no illegal dealings take place.”
He said the proposed control body would keep track of horns through a central database that could provide international agencies, such as Cites (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), with accurate information should they suspect illegal trading.