Trade

South Africa court clears way for local trade in rhino horns

A dehorned rhino bull at a rhino breeding farm near Klerksdorp, South Africa, March 9.

A dehorned rhino bull at a rhino breeding farm near Klerksdorp, South Africa, March 9.  (AP Photo/Renee Graham, File)

Supporters of legal rhino horn trade in South Africa say the country's top court has ruled in their favor, rejecting a government appeal to preserve a 2009 ban on the domestic trade.

Rhino breeder John Hume said Wednesday that the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal late last month.

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Rhinos are heavily poached. Rhino breeders believe poaching would be undercut by a regulated trade, while critics say trade will spur poaching.

OSCAP is a group that opposes trade in rhino horns. It says the ruling means domestic trade is legal, but notes that regulations are still being drafted and could be subject to a legal challenge.

Most of the world's rhinos live in South Africa. An international ban on trade in rhino horns has been in place since 1977.