The reinstatement of the ban on domestic rhino horn trace came as the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, filed an application for leave to appeal a High Court ruling lifting the ban late last year.
TourismUpdate.co.za reports the minister’s application was filed last week in terms of Rule 19 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court, which provides for the procedure for an application for leave to appeal.
In the interim no permits will be authorised in terms of National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004, to trade in rhino horn and any derivatives or products of horn until the matter is finalised by the Constitutional Court, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
“The application suspends the operation and execution of the High Court’s 2015 invalidation of the moratorium, and means that the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn, or products or derivatives thereof, is once again in place,” the department says.
Last year the South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal legalised rhino horn trade in South Africa after a seven year ban. The decision followed a lawsuit brought by a South African rhino breeder and Safari tour operator. Rhino breeder John Hume, who owns almost 1,300 rhino and has a stockpile of nearly four tons of horns – along with safari operator Johan Kruger – managed to overturn the ban back in November last year during a case in the Pretoria High Court.