Namibia has launched bids to attract trophy hunters to kill three endangered black rhinos despite fierce global criticism over previous auctions.
Since 2012, Namibia has sold licences each year to kill individual rhinos, saying the money is essential to fund conservation projects and anti-poaching protection.
Last year, an American hunter paid over $350,000 to obtain the rights to kill a rhinoceros species threatened by poaching.
This is a privilege to any state. We have our own laws and we are doing nothing that violates these laws
The spokesman of the Environment Ministry, Romeo Muyunda, defended this auction. “We believe that it is the right thing to do,” he told AFP.
“This is a privilege to any state. We have our own laws and we are doing nothing that violates these laws”, he added, saying that the government wanted to avoid new controversies.
In an advertisement for the auction, the ministry of environment included discounts to businesses owned by Namibians or to those hiring a professional hunter from Namibia.
In the neighboring country South Africa, nearly 1,200 rhinoceros have been slaughtered in the last year by poachers in quest of horns whose powder is a popular medicine in Asia.