In November 2015, South Africa lifted the domestic ban on rhino trade following a landmark court case. Yesterday (Tuesday, 13th January 2016), the Ministry of Environment announced that they have drafted regulations about the hunting of rhinos, live rhino sales, and rhino horn stockpiling.It is legal for hunters to shoot rhino in South Africa. However, the proposed new regulations stipulate that only one hunter may hunt one rhino annually, and that there would have to be a wildlife management official present during each hunt.

In addition to this, rhino owners will have to make every effort to keep their rhino horn safe.

The new rules mean that all rhino deaths, whether from natural causes or hunting,must be reported. Microchipping of rhinos and horn must be done.Most animals are already being chipped, and it follows that those people involved in dehorning rhino will keep them safe. One owner (Ed Hern) told Timeslive that he doubts the provincial authorities will have the manpower required to accompany all hunts.

The debate on rhino trade and hunting has long caused division between people with differing viewpoints. The Environmental Investigation Agency has argued against the legalization of the rhino trade, but the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association argue in favor of it.

AFP reported in November 2015 that the director of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Mr. Jason Bell said that the lifting of the ban on rhino trade in South Africa was setting a dangerous precedent. John Hume, one of the world’s largest rhinoceros breeders hopes that the legalization oftrade will lead to an eventual reduction in poaching statistics.

Public opinion is often against any type of endangered species trade or hunting. On a Facebook page, one user said that rhino hunting should be banned because "rangers are being killed" trying to protect the animals, whilst the government grants permission for hunting to take place.

The CITES Cop17 will be held in South Africa this year.

The world wildlife conference -- where big issues about environmental concerns are debated -- is likely to have the future of rhinos and the rhino trade debate near the top of their agenda. The South African Minister of Environment has urged delegates to come up with solutions regarding trade in flora and fauna.

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