Free State Environmental Affairs hosts rhino poaching workshop, 9 Dec

US joins the Free State with fight against rhino poaching

The US embassy in Pretoria has joined the fight against rhino poaching in the Free State. The U.S. Department of Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs donated a trailer containing surveillance and investigative equipment. This exercise supports the Free State in its fight against illegal trade in fauna and flora as well as rhino poaching.

The donation follows a pledge made by President Barack Obama to help support the fight against wild life trafficking when he visited South Africa last year. In his 2014/15 budget speech MEC for Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Mosebenzi Zwane said, “We will intensify our efforts to stop the illegal trade in fauna and flora as well as rhino poaching, compliance monitoring will continue in various industries. More enforcement actions will be undertaken this financial year”.

Working together with police, about 17 roadblocks have been conducted within the borders of the province and 20 cases of fauna and flora are before courts 2 of the related to rhino poaching.

In the fight against rhino poaching, the department is working with private sector and total of about 800 DNA has been collected to assist with tracking during roadblocks. To take this fight further, 2 Ambassadors from U.S embassy will visit the province to train and workshop the nature reserve rangers on how to use surveillance and investigative equipment.

The workshop will be held at Maria Moroka Nature Reserve in Thaba Nchu north of Bloemfontein on the 9 December 2014 at 10h00. This trailer will carry forensic equipment to crime scenes, ensuring rangers and environmental management inspectors have the tools they need to properly collect evidence.

Members of the media are invited to witness the US and the Free State tackling rhino poaching.

For more information contact:

Kagisho Leteane

Tel: 051 400 9550

E-mail: leteanek@detea.fs.gov.za

Cell: 073 614 0268

Lebogang Maloale

E-mail: maloalel@detea.fs.gov.za

Tel: 051 400 9631

Cell: 072 018 8098

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS