Poachers will 'kill every single rhino'

03 December 2018 | Environment

If rhino owners are not allowed to harvest and legally sell horns, poachers will kill every last rhino in Namibia.

This is according to environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, who was speaking last week at a meeting where the poaching situation in the country was discussed.

Shifeta said the price of a rhino horn has skyrocketed and is currently about N$900 000 per kilogram. “It is going up every day.”

He said if rhino range countries could sell rhino horns, the price will go down because the demand would still be there. According to Shifeta, poachers and consumers are looking for ivory and rhino horns for their medicinal value.

“The demand is there, whether we close the legal market or not.”

Shifeta said at the moment it is too costly for private farmers to keep rhino. “Should owners be allowed to harvest and sell horns it would be economically viable for them. The criminal is looking for the horn, if there is no horn, he will not risk his life to shoot the rhino. If we do not do this, many more rhino will be killed. They will come for the last rhino until it is dead.”

Shifeta also referred to the criminal justice system in Namibia, and said there needs to be coordination between law-enforcement in the field and the courtroom when handling wildlife crime cases.

“They need to gather all the necessary evidence, so that the prosecution can nail the suspect, if the investigation is not properly done, prosecutors cannot prove their case in court.”

Shifeta pointed out that both prosecutors and police officers are burdened with hundreds of cases and this must be looked into.

“It is haphazard. We must see how we can dispose of these cases in a timely fashion and see that things are done properly on the ground and that the constitution is applied properly.”

Shifeta said although poachers are arrested they are not the end-consumers and they will never give up the kingpin.

“As poaching syndicates increase in size, number and sophistication, it is more important than ever that law-enforcement responses are robust, reliable and effective.”

Shifeta said wildlife trafficking is slowly becoming a million-dollar criminal enterprise that has expanded to more than just a conservation concern. He said the increasing involvement of organised crime in poaching and wildlife trafficking promotes corruption, threatens peace, strengthens illicit trade routes and destabilises economies and communities that depend on wildlife or their livelihoods.

“We therefore need to urgently address this issue of illegal hunting of our elephant and rhino and illegal timber harvesting now.”

He said to combat wildlife crime effectively, it is vital that the law-enforcement community deploys all available tools to ensure that the entire crime chain is addressed.

“More effort is required and new approaches needed, including the increased use of science and technology.”

According to him, wildlife crime is similar to other forms of criminality, and the full range of forensic science, expertise and support can potentially be brought to bear from one end of the illicit trade chain to the other.

He further condemned the ill-intentioned activities of wildlife crimes and called upon those involved to refrain from such activities with immediate effect.


Similar News


Ministry opts for cheaper Etosha fence

1 day - 12 December 2018 | Environment

The environment ministry has started reviewing the design of a predator- and elephant-proof fence around Etosha National Park to reduce the cost of construction. ...

Illegal sand mining continues

1 week ago - 06 December 2018 | Environment

Many young men are making a living at Rundu by charging as little as N$50 to fill up a bakkie with sand.A number of young...

Year of environmental tipping points

1 week ago - 05 December 2018 | Environment

JANA-MARI SMITH The Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) says 2018 has led to significant shifts in awareness on a number of issues in Namibia, including...

Risky fuelling at sea condemned

1 week ago - 03 December 2018 | Environment

Red flags have been raised after the works and transport ministry gave the green light for a fuelling operation at sea which took place close...

Tree harvesters up in arms

2 weeks ago - 29 November 2018 | Environment

Kavango East farmers, who have been affected by a recent directive halting all logging with immediate effect, have hit back by asking whether the government...

Shifeta cracks the whip

2 weeks ago - 29 November 2018 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says all invalid licences, permits or authorisations granted without an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) must be withdrawn by 1 December.Shifeta said...

Timber harvesting stopped

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Environment

The forestry directorate of the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry has officially ordered the suspension of the harvesting and trading in Namibia's timber. ...

Shifeta calls out NWR

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has given a directive that by the end of this year, the ministry must ensure that no illegal dumping sites exist...

War declared on plastic bags

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Environment

The environment ministry will step up efforts to enforce the ban on plastic bags in national parks in the coming months.Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has...

Stop the plunder

2 weeks ago - 26 November 2018 | Environment

Not a single environmental clearance certificate was ever issued for the felling and commercial trade of timber, which means that the large-scale felling of protected...

Latest News

Cops heavily in debt

11 hours ago | Police

The police chief, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, yesterday gave President Hage Geingob a frank overview of the tragic state of affairs in the force.According to him...

Iilonga hailed as steadfast, courageous

11 hours ago | People

Tributes are pouring in for struggle veteran Petrus Iilonga, who died on Tuesday evening at the age of 71.Iilonga was a former trade unionist and...

Another tough half-year for Nictus

11 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The recession continued eroding the profit of Nictus Holdings in the first six months of its current financial year, but its impact...

Our big-spending defence ministry

11 hours ago | Columns

Recent calls by parliamentarians in the National Council to increase the defence budget make for interesting reading. Onesi constituency councillor Titus Kanyele recently suggested more...

At your fingertips

11 hours ago | Technology

Yolanda Nel - After a break-in at her home three years ago, an entrepreneur decided to develop an app that provides emergency contact numbers at...

B1 crash claims three

11 hours ago | Accidents

Three men died on the Okahandja-Otjiwarongo road yesterday morning when their vehicles collided after one of the cars had crashed into a cow standing in...

Namvet to play politics

11 hours ago | Politics

The Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) says it is considering entering the political fray by participating in the 2019 national elections after all attempts to...

Communities in dire need of...

11 hours ago | Disasters

Several areas have been identified as “hot spots” where communities are suffering from chronic water shortages and emergency water assistance is required. Agriculture...

Africa Briefs

11 hours ago | Economics

Tanzania to sign deal for power plantTanzania will sign a deal this week for the construction of a US$3 billion hydroelectric power plant, president John...

Load More