Statement on Rhino hunting in Namibia

Statement on Rhino hunting in Namibia

In response to stories overnight of a Texan hunter paying $350,000 to hunt and kill a Black Rhinoceros in Namibia, Cameron Kerr, Board member of the International Rhino Foundation said it was a travesty to attempt to legitimise hunting of a Critically Endangered species.

"While many try to defend highly paid hunts as contributing to wildlife conservation, I can't abide by this concept.

"We have to work with governments and conservation NGOs to create a system where these animals are worth more alive than they are dead", he said.

"There are other ways, such as securing investment in the development of local eco-tourism industries to tackle these tragic and entrenched problems.

"Just as importantly, while we debate the rights and wrongs of the hunts, we're not looking at the massive problem of poaching that is daily driving this species towards extinction during our lifetime.

"Nearly 500 Rhinos have been killed this year in South Africa. Any rhino killed is another blow against conservation efforts for all Rhino species"

Last year the Australian Government moved to crack down on the potential for Australians to participate in canned hunting by implementing wide-ranging bans on animal parts or hunting trophies being brought into Australia. The Environment Minster Greg Hunt described the "barbaric practice of canned hunting" as "sick and wrong" Earlier this year, Mr Hunt went on the record saying " It is simply not acceptable in our day, in our time, on our watch".

Mr Kerr, who is also the CEO of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, said: "If we are to have any hope of creating a sustainable future for people and wildlife on this planet, we have to work together with governments, conservationists and the wider community to invest in practical and sustainable solutions."

"Sadly, this killing in Namibia, is not only a tragedy but a lost opportunity to make a difference for wildlife."