Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Conservationalists call for tougher penalties as poaching escalates in southern Africa

Conservationists call for tougher penalties as poaching escalates in southern Africa

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Animal conservation group, World Wide Fund for Nature
(WWF), on Saturday called for stiffer penalties for rhino poachers to
respond to an escalating crisis that has seen more than 180 rhinos killed in
southern Africa by ruthless syndicates believed to be on the payroll of
Asian traditional medicine manufacturers.

WWF said it was pursuing a new strategy to galvanise national and
international action against illegal rhino horn trade.

The strategy includes pushing for more deterrent penalties for poachers and
their masters.

South Africa and Zimbabwe lost close to 190 rhinos to poachers since the
beginning of the year, reaffirming the two southern African neighbours’
status as the epicentre of the world animal poaching crisis.

Sophisticated criminal syndicates have killed over 182 rhinos in South
Africa between January and August and at least six more in Zimbabwe.

South Africa, which holds 90 percent of Africa’s rhino population with over
20,000 white and more than 1,500 black rhinos, is losing rhinos to poaching
at a rate of 20 rhinos per month since the start of 2010.

The killings are allegedly fuelled by consumer markets for rhino horn in
China and Vietnam where traditional medicines containing rhino horn are in
high demand.



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