The Namibian Cabinet has confirmed that yet another black rhinoceros will be killed for an auction in the United States of America. The black rhino will be auctioned during the Dallas Safari Club Annual Convention, which will take place between 9 and 12 January next year.
According to the release, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism obtained a five-year approval from Cabinet to sell five black rhinoceros yearly for trophy hunting. The hunting will be conducted through tender. “The purpose of these sales is to generate money for rhino conservation.”
The rhinoceros’ hunts, it further stated, are normally sold to Namibian registered trophy hunting operators, who in turn sell them to foreign hunters. During 2013, two black rhinoceros were sold through the tender process to Namibian companies for N$1,85 million and N$2,1 million, respectively.
All were hunted during the past hunting season, which ended last month. The Dallas auction is said to not only generate money for conservation “but will also promote Namibia as a tourism destination”.
The reserve price for the rhinoceros, estimated to be almost twice the price of this year’s highest bid of N$2,1 million, the release indicated, will be set closer to the auction. During late October, it was reported that a Texan hunting club sought to raise up to US$1 million for endangered black rhinoceros by auctioning off a permit to kill one in Namibia.
“First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino,” said Ben Carter, executive director of the Dallas Safari Club. Black rhinocerous are internationally considered an endangered species and the World Wildlife Fund says about 4 800 are alive in the wild in Africa.
Carter, at the time, said in a statement sent to AFP, the Namibian government “selected” his hunting club to auction a black rhinocerous hunting permit for one of its national parks. Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinocerous out of 1 795 animals.
A single permit issued to a US hunter in 2009 to kill a black rhinocerous fetched US$175 000 (about N$1,7 million) for the Namibian Game Products Trust Fund. Tim van Norman, chief of the branch of permits at the FWS said the US government has not yet issued any permit to the Dallas Safari Club to bring a rhinocerous carcass into the country.
“The individual hunter, who is identified as the winner of the auction, would first have to pass certain background checks and the animal chosen for the hunt would have to be approved as being beneficial to the conservation of the species for the US government to allow the trophy inside its borders,” he said.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) described the news of the auction as “disturbing” and vowed to campaign against the issuance of a US permit to return the trophy.
“The world is seeing a concerted effort to preserve the very few black rhinos and other rhinos who are dodging poachers’ bullets and habitat destruction,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS.
“The last thing they need are wealthy elites from foreign lands coming in to kill them for their heads.” He also questioned the ethics of wealthy, competitive trophy hunters who say they want to kill an animal in the name of conservation.
“Shooting a black rhino in the wild is about as difficult as shooting a parked car,” he said.
We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST the stopping of the Dallas Safari Club Auction. Even if you’re not from the US, please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.
Now that you’ve voted, please sign the petition on the link:
Don’t delay! Do it today.
The editorial content of this article was written and published by AllAfrica.com