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Killing for conservation: Black rhino hunting permit to be auctionedToday's News

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The Dallas Safari Club will auction a hunting permit to shoot a Black rhino in Namibia during its annual convention and expo in January.

According to DSC, all proceeds from the auction have been earmarked for rhino conservation in that country. The Government of the Republic of Namibia approved the permit in accordance with CITES provisions to generate funding for rhino conservation initiatives, including anti-poaching efforts, said DSC. The hunt will take place at Mangetti National Park, in northern Namibia.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has granted Namibia an annual export quota of up to five hunter-taken Black rhinos.

“This fundraiser is the first of its kind for an endangered species,” said DSC Executive Director, Ben Carter. “It’s going to generate a sum of money large enough to be enormously meaningful in Namibia’s fight to ensure the future of its Black rhino populations.”

There are 4 848 black rhino left in Africa, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which lists the species as critically endangered. The WWF is supportive of “sustainable hunting”. Critics of the auction include the Humane Society of the US and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Wayne Pacelle, President of Humane Society US has called the auction "disturbing". "If these are multimillionaires and they want to help rhinos, they can give their money to help rhinos. They don't need to accompany their cash transfer with a high calibre bullet," he was quoted as saying.

IFAW suggested that the move sent the wrong message. “Killing animals to save them is not only counterintuitive but ludicrous,” Jeff Flocken, North American director for IFAW was quoted by National Geographic as saying. “We're talking a highly endangered species, and generating a furore to kill them in the name of conservation is not going to do anything to help them in the long run.”

The DSC has suggested that removing certain individuals can help the rhino population grow. “Extremely aggressive bulls are known to be population-limiting factors in some areas. Selectively harvesting these animals can lead to population increases and greater survival,” the DSC said in a statement. 

Do you think raising money for conservation justifies the death of a Black rhino? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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