The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) recently released the recommendations of the Rhino Issues Management (RIM) report. The report calls for the immediate dehorning of thousands of rhino in national parks. The report, written by former SA National Parks chief executive Mavuso Msimang, indicates that it would take three years at a rate of eight rhino per day and cost R84 million to dehorn SANParks rhinos, take DNA samples and insert microchips. Since rhino horn grows at 5cm per year the process will have to be repeated every 3-4 years. The government indicated that de-horning was not on the cards on the short term.
Mr Msimang also came up with a novel concept and urged the government to consider opening a rhino trading structure possibly linked to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and recommended that the government use Cites Article 27 to make an interim application to CITES to end the ban on rhino product trading and not wait for CITES 2016.