In Summary
  • The ruling in April was said to have little impact outside South Africa because a ban on international trade is still in force.

  • Breeders believe open trade is the only way to stop poachers slaughtering rhino.

An online auction of rhino horn is set to open Monday, after a court in South Africa gave the go-ahead for the sale, which has outraged conservationists.

South African authorities had moved to ban the three-day auction which they feared would undermine the global ban on rhino trade, refusing to issue a permit.

HIGH COURT

But the High Court in Pretoria on Sunday ruled in favour of the auction's South African organiser John Hume, who runs the world's biggest rhino farm.

His lawyer had argued that the permits had been approved but not issued by the authorities in South Africa, where a ban on domestic rhino horn trade was lifted three months ago.

The ruling in April was said to have little impact outside South Africa because a ban on international trade is still in force.

Breeders believe open trade is the only way to stop poachers slaughtering rhino.

"We lost the case. We have to hand over the permit that was issued," said environment ministry spokesman Moses Rannditsheni.

$60,000/KILO

The auction is due to start at 1000GMT Monday.

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