By Julien Crowther
The crisis in rhino poaching has reached the point at which the population cannot sustain the onslaught. Each year the numbers cruelly slaughtered for their horns has risen and this year the number is likely to reach 1000.
The government has stood idly by, tinkering with Memoranda of Understanding, or adjusting the numbers of hunting permits, while doing nothing to stop poaching.
Meanwhile, the propaganda in favour of legal trade in rhino horn has gathered pace, ready for the next CITES meeting in 2016, when South Africa is likely to put trade on the table.
Trade in all endangered species such as rhino, elephant, and lions must be stopped before it is too late, and these iconic species exist only on rhino farms, canned lion establishments and zoos.
South Africa derives far more income from tourism than from hunting or rhino farming, but this is likely to decrease severely in future years when it has become clear there are no more animals left in the wild.
The illegal trade in wildlife parts is on a par with drug or people trafficking, and is the main driver of terrorism in many parts of the world.