National anti-poaching committee established

A national committee has been set up to tackle rhino poaching in South Africa, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Monday.

“The intention of the committee is to improve communication and coordination among the anti-poaching initiatives by SANParks, government, police and security agencies, private game reserves and rhino owners, as well as other conservation and wildlife organisations,” SANParks spokesperson Sam Ferreira said.

Ferreira was also the newly elected committee chairperson.

He said four initial priorities to fight rhino poaching were agreed upon by the committee, with the first being to set up a national phone number people could call to report rhino-poaching activities.

The next was to coordinate the provision of intelligence from all groups to the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit.

The third priority was to coordinate a national fundraising campaign for specific anti-poaching initiatives, while the fourth was to run an information campaign about rhino poaching and the use of rhino horn.

The committee was set up on Monday at the Lead SA rhino summit, where a resolution was signed by 37 representatives of organisations including the Hawks, the Department of Environmental Affairs, Crimeline and the Endangered Wildlife Trust.—Sapa

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