Veterinarian donates R50 000 to the Rhino Conservation Fund

Dr. Cobus Raath with a baby Rhino

The Veterinary Foundation has the last two years been proactively involved in rhinoceros conservation projects. Two booklets have been published on rhinoceros management and capture and these are available for downloading from our website. Additionally the misuse of game capture drugs in the spate of rhinoceros killings the last two years has resulted in two initiatives to assist government departments in combating the problem.

 The first step is setting up an electronic scheduled medicines register on which veterinarians in future will be able to report their game capture drug purchases. Data recorded will be the dosage used, where it was used and for what animal it was used. This register will only be accessible to the veterinarian for their use. At the end of each year the collective information will be made available to the Department of Health. Additionally major drug suppliers like Novartis and Wildpharm have indicated that they will require this data base to be completed every three months before supplying game capture drugs to veterinarians again.

The second problem addressed is to determine which drugs are used in rhinoceros poaching. The SA Police laboratories cannot do this work but the Jockey Club is able to forensically analyse carcass specimens to determine which drugs were used. The Foundation has been proactively busy to raise money for the standardization of these tests. Dr. Cobus Raath, a veterinary colleague well known in the wildlife industry, has made a very generous donation of R50 000 to the Rhino Conservation Fund   to assist in making these forensic tests possible. The Foundation gratefully acknowledges this contribution by a veterinarian to the fund. Dr. Raath can be contacted at or 082 577 2779 for further information. This is a great example of what veterinary colleagues are doing to boost the image of the veterinary profession after the recent poor exposure that veterinarians have received in the media for allegedly being involved in rhinoceros poaching



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