Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Game farm owners shy away from rhino breeding
More and more private game farm owners are moving away from rhino breeding. Private game farm owners in the Northern Cape say they do not want to risk having their animals killed by poachers. More than 311 rhinos have already been killed since the beginning of the year in South Africa.
Farmer and veterinarian Johan Kriek says although conditions for rhino breeding are ideal, he will not breed them. He says at the moment, breeding rhinos is a very risky venture to go into.
"We know how dreadful the poaching scene is with rhino and you're really just targeting yourself by trying to conserve rhino because you have these ruthless people who believe in some old Eastern myth. A rhino horn is not an aphrodisiac. A rhino horn does not help with your blood pressure and the quicker we can get to educate people, the quicker I will start to farm and ranch with rhino's, but at the moment you know because of the myth, people want rhino horn and they kill rhino's for it," says Kriek.
University of Pretoria ecologist Professor, Wouter van Hoven, says it is no longer financially viable to breed rhinos due to poaching. "We know there is a lot of poaching. Now our feeling is that we should get rid of the ban and the embargo on trade of rhino horn. I think if we can set this up, regulate it and have people farm with rhino and legally harvest the horn and in this way make it more available."
Like other provinces in the country the Northern Cape game farmers are no longer willing to farm with rhino. If this tendency continues, the very existence of the rhino's are under threat.http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/b7da8e0048aa32a98bfc9b0bfac4c190/Game-farm-owners-shy-away-from-rhino-breeding-20111012