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Sat Dec 20 07:08:53 SAST 2014

DA calls for poaching sentence review

Sapa | 25 November, 2012 12:47
BEDFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: The as yet unnamed new African white rhino calf is watched by its mother Clara at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park on June 21, 2005 in Bedfordshire, England. The new addition to the park was born on June 10. The white rhino is the largest of the five species of rhino. It has a distinctive hump of ligaments on its neck which helps to support the weight of its large head.
Image by: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

The Democratic Alliance resolved on Sunday to call on parliament to review the current maximum and minimum sentences for environmental crimes.

Penalties should be increased following the assault on the rhino population in South Africa by poachers since 2008, the party said at its 2012 federal congress in Boksburg.

It resolved to call on the National Prosecuting Authority to seek the harshest sentences from the court for those individuals convicted of rhino poaching.

It would also call on national and provincial conservation authorities to "redouble their efforts" to protect the rhino population and to commit more resources to the fight against poaching.

Poaching syndicates were reaping significant financial benefits at the expense of the rhino population, the DA said.

Around 570 rhinos have been killed so far in 2012, with the Kruger National Park losing 347 rhino this year alone.

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