Rhino Horn Marking


Norms and Standards for Marking of Rhino Horn

REMINDER regarding the application for permits for the hunting of white rhino:

Please remember that, should you apply for a hunting permit on behalf of your client, you need to attach a copy of the applicant’s passport together with one of the following:
-    Confirmation that the person is a member of a hunting association in his/her country of usual residence; or
-    Proof and/or CV of hunting in country of usual residence; or
-    CV with hunting experience in African game.


-    On the management of the hunting of white rhino, all rhino hunts must be strictly controlled by means of an individual Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) hunting permit issued by the issuing authority to ensure that all rhino horns can be traced to the property where the hunt took place. The hunting of rhino may therefore not be authorised in terms of a standing permit for game farms, or a game farm hunting permit provided by the owner of a registered game farm.

-    The period in which a person may hunt a rhino is clarified and it is now specified that a person may only hunt and export one rhino for trophy purposes within a twelve month period.

-    Furthermore the proposed amendments stipulate that the horns must be transported from the address where the hunt took place to the taxidermist or similar facility to be processed and prepared for exportation. If the rhino horns were not already micro-chipped, they would need to be micro-chipped on the property where the hunt took place, immediately after the hunt.

-    It is also proposed that rhino hunts must take place under the supervision of a conservation official, preferably an environmental management inspector (EMI) from the province concerned, subject to a permit being issued in the name of the hunter. The official or EMI who attended the hunt must immediately after the hunt provide the Department of Environmental Affairs with information relating to the hunt and the relevant micro-chip numbers.

-    The CITES export permit for the white rhino trophy, which must be accompanied by a copy of the TOPS hunting permit, must be endorsed by an EMI prior to the export of the trophy.

-    DNA samples of rhino horns is a proposed new section in the norms and standards. This section states that DNA samples of horns must be collected when live rhino are darted for translocation, treatment and any other management purposes.

-    DNA samples also have to be collected from detached horns obtained through amongst others natural mortalities, dehorning, or rhino horn trophies, when such horns have to be micro-chipped. The results of these DNA samples aim to assist enforcement officials to achieve successful prosecutions during criminal proceedings.

Download the Amended National Norms & Standards here.

-    DNA samples must be collected by a registered veterinarian responsible for darting of a live rhino; an official from the issuing authority responsible for the micro-chipping, or the conservation official or EMI who supervises the hunt and who has been adequately trained in DNA collection. The DNA sample must be sent to the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at Onderstepoort as soon as possible.