Britain's Prince Harry has stepped into a conservation debate in South Africa, saying he believes legalization of the rhino horn trade will "accelerate the path to extinction" for the threatened species.

Harry spoke Wednesday during a trip to South Africa's Kruger National Park, where many rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers.

Last week, a South African judge rescinded a nearly 7-year-old moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horns, though the ban will stay in place for now pending an appeal by South Africa's environment ministry.

An international ban on the rhino horn trade has been in place since 1977.

Harry spent three months this year working on conservation projects in southern Africa.