No to a legalised trade in rhino horn being proposed by South Africa
Less than 0.5% of 92 million Vietnamese consume rhino horn, but South Africa is leaning towards asking CITES to legalise the trade at the 2016 September meeting in Johannesburg when the issue will be voted on by the 181 member countries.
This would cause consumption to explode, with a massive surge in demand that could never be met or controlled.
It would have the same effect as when South Africa convinced CITES in 2008 to allow a sale of ivory to China and Japan, which has directly caused the slaughter of over 60% of Africa's elephant in the past seven years since that fateful decision - some 220,000 animals - as tens of thousands of tons of illegal ivory has been trafficked and laundered under the guise of the meagre 102 ton legal stockpile.
Even China has acknowledged that the illegal ivory trade is beyond it's ability to control, placing a one-year moratorium on its own ivory trading, and stating its intention to end to all ivory trading once and for all.
CITES member countries are overwhelmingly against legalisation, as are the majority of SA's public, but the powerful pro-trade lobby, made up of rhino game farmers and trophy hunters are pushing very hard for trade, which is not about conservation, it's about money.
Though the world will not be conned about the 'viability' of such trade in endangered animal parts by South Africa again the problem is that this debate is hugely counter-productive to Rhino Horn Demand Reduction campaigns in Vietnam, as SA's mixed message of "rhino horn is not medicine and cannot cure anything, but please allow us to sell it to you" is causing people to think that it may be legalised next year "so what's the big deal?"
157 viewsJun 28, 2015
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