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Rhino: South Africa decides to allow the buying and selling of horns

A rhino is pictured in South Africa, 6 February 2013Getty Images
Some people believe that a legal trade in rhino horns is the only way to stop poachers

A court in South Africa has made a decision that allows the buying and selling of rhino horn inside the country.

Until now making money from rhino horn in South Africa has been against the law.

Now, an important court in the country has rejected this ban, which means that rhino horns can now be bought and sold.

The ruling only applies to South Africa, as there is still a ban on people trading rhino horn around the world.

Some people, like rhino breeders in the country, say that the trade should be allowed as it is worth a lot of money and will protect rhino from poachers.

They say they can trim the horn off living animals who have been put to sleep by a vet, and the horn will grow back.

Rhino and an oxpecker, the birdGetty Images
An unlikely friendship between rhino and bird.

According to them, making it illegal encourages poachers who just kill the rhino to steal the horn and sell it around the world - which is against the law.

However many conservationists disagree with this idea.

The Helping Rhinos organisation - which aims to protect rhino - said that the ruling was "disastrous".

White rhinoGetty Images
The largest species of rhino: the white rhino.

South Africa is home to around 20,000 rhinos, which is about 80% of the worldwide population.

More than 1,000 rhino were killed by poachers in South Africa in 2016.

Watch the Newsround special all about rhinos and poaching in South Africa.