2 March 2017 | World Wildlife Fund News Release
According to new data published by the government of South Africa, 1,054 rhinos were poached in 2016. This number is slightly down from 2015 (1,175) and 2014 (1,215), but nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year in which more than 1,000 rhinos were illegally killed in the country. Overall, Africa continues to lose around three rhinos each day to poaching for the illegal rhino horn trade.
In response, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation:
“The continued assault on Africa’s rhinos year after year shows the need to redouble efforts across the rhino horn trade chain.
“Two straight years of modest improvement in South Africa indicate that enhanced anti-poaching efforts are having some positive impact. However only when all involved countries take serious action will the rampant killing of rhinos end.
“Governments and law enforcement officials must do more to reverse the low-risk, high-reward nature of rhino horn trade and other wildlife crime. Stronger enforcement and tougher penalties for offenders at every level, including poachers, buyers and transnational trafficking syndicates, is required to disrupt this devastating black market trade.
“Vietnam in particular must step up and do its part to stem the unchecked flow of rhino horn into its markets. If it fails to do so, the international community must follow through on its commitment to hold the country accountable through wildlife trade sanctions.”
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