An auction permit to hunt endangered African black rhino has ignited a deep tension between Dallas Safari Club and wildlife campaigners.
Auction was done for the money of $350 000. Dallas Safari Club officials praised the move claiming that it will help raise money for conservation measures but wildlife advocates came hard on the auction policy.
Before auction, around 50 protesters assembled outside the convention centre and staged protest demonstration by holding banners and chanted anti-hunting slogans. Some people from Atlanta joined the protest showing dismay against the auction of the endangered black rhino hunting permit in Dallas.
Steve Wagner, a spokesperson for the Dallas Safari Club told The South Africa News that auction will be for a hunt in Namibia. Advocating the auction, he said all proceeds to be collected would be consumed to protect the rhino species. He also said auction had allowed only old male and nonbreeding rhino and that it had to be terminated sooner or later due to its violence against other wildlife species.
Wildlife and animal rights groups, officials from the humane society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare lambasted the auction policy and said all black rhinos were already endangered species and culling will never be validated.
According to estimation 4 000 black rhinos are facing extinction and 1 800 are in Namibia. Wildlife critics fear that auction permit would leave a bad taste into the mouth of people.
“This auction will send a message to world that an American will show the money to murder their species,” North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based IFAW official said.
Poachers hunt rhino, due to its horn as these horns have valuable price at international black market. Rhino horn has major component of the protein keratin and mostly it is used in carvings and for medicinal purposes, mostly in Asia.