+21 votes
Ellen Ticket Noification Rhino Poaching - Stop The Demand! Say NO to trade!
Description
Hello Ellen and everyone, my name is Kelly Pretorius and I am senior administrator of Save Our Rhino on Facebook. Every single day I see the decimation of our national heritage, our precious rhino, perpetuated by the demand for a bogus traditional medicine from the East. Not only are they using their horn as medicine, but it is also being used as a status symbol and carved into libation cups and dagger handles, or just left whole to sit on a mantlepiece to display wealth.

It is astounding that there are people in South Africa, perhaps encouraged by government Ministers, private rhino owners and pseudo-economists, who think that the best way forward to defeat the rhino poachers operating freely in my country, is a fanciful scheme to trade rhino horns on the open market.

This proposal for legalizing trade is based on nothing more than a wish to cash in on eye-watering profits that a single kilo or pound of rhino horn can bring. Rhino horn these days, weight for weight, is worth more than gold and cocaine – but only on the backstreet illegal markets of Laos, Vietnam and China. Possession and sale of rhino horn products have actually been illegal in those countries since 1994.

The pro-trade movement is currently confined to South Africa, but there might be some support from Namibia and Zimbabwe to cash in on the potential windfall. The South African government wants to put this proposal to CITES (the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna) and has organized a concerted campaign to make this happen ever since 2012. But such trade requires a “partner” in Asia who will agree to allow commerce in a currently illegal product. This is not likely to happen given the overwhelming public mood in countries like Vietnam and China where people are beginning to wake up to the massive destruction of Africa’s wildlife that their demand for products has created. A positive CITES vote needs a 2/3 majority of member states to the Convention, and already South Africa will struggle to bring a handful of positive votes to the table.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Asian countries like China and Vietnam have been responsible for the huge demand in rhino horn products that has caused prices to rise through the roof. These countries and others in the region have always wanted rhino horn. The trade is centuries old. But the demand has never been as big as it is now – most likely fueled by a massive growth of disposable income among Vietnamese and Chinese people.

South Africa has only recently become the target of rhino horn poachers. South Africa must realize and acknowledge that before they became a haven for poachers, rhinos were already being eradicated in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia – in fact all across the African continent. And don’t forget Asia – Vietnam’s last one remaining indigenous rhino was poached a few years ago, and poaching has destroyed rhino populations in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and other countries where Asian rhinos occur.

South Africa is just one country experiencing the consequences of the illegal rhino horn trade. Therefore, as South Africa still contains a relatively large population of both white and black rhinos, this country should be positively and constructively engaged in finding ways forward to stem the trade. Legalizing the trade is the most nonsensical way forward to promote conservation of rhino species worldwide.

It should be noted that South Africa has long been engaged in a “semi-legal” trade of rhino horns. South African authorities allowed a “national” trade of rhino horns that “somehow” managed to enter the international black market. South African authorities allowed “pseudo hunting” of rhinos – a process whereby “hunters” were recruited even from the ranks of local Thai sex workers, who were given permits by local authorities to export their derived horns. South African private rhino horn owners have “suffered” many thefts of their horn stockpiles supposedly secured in safes.

In short, South Africa has been feeding and encouraging the demand for rhino horns even though such trade is illegal. South Africa is therefore not a country in any way to be trusted with any sort of legal trade in rhino horns. South Africa is a country that is unfortunately engaged in a high level of corruption which will not suit any means of ensuring that the proposed “legal” rhino horns involved in trade will not come from poached animals.

In addition, many individuals in South Africa now want to legally trade rhino horns from their private stocks. This cannot happen under CITES regulations despite what our government tells them. It is all a mess and a muddle that any sane person should reject. It is aimed at short-term profit taking rather than a coherent plan to conserve rhinos. Private rhino owners have not, to date, shown to have been in any significant way involved in rhino “conservation” but rather, most engage in profit taking from a species that has become a convenient commodity.

As a last issue to consider, in the highly unlikely event that legal rhino horn sales were to be allowed by CITES on the international market, profits made should not benefit individuals or Government officials, but rather be ploughed into legitimate and registered rhino conservation programs.

Given South Africa’s complete failure to implement similar programs for elephants when CITES allowed them a “one-off” sale of ivory most recently in 2008, why should we then believe that a rhino horn sale will benefit rhinos? A legal trade in rhino horns will never conserve a single rhino, but will instead open up the market floodgates and consumers who have never used rhino horn before, will want to buy them. Encouraging demand by legalising trade of rhino horn will simply mean that no rhino will ever be safe in the wild again.

What is needed is international resolve, a commitment to stop what can only be described nowadays as state sponsored poaching, and a rejection by all who now have rhino horn stockpiles to see those as in any way “valuable”. Demand reduction campaigns in user countries need to be implemented on a national basis, shame campaigns need to go viral, as they did for the fur trade and a horn devaluation programme, through the pioneering Rhino Rescue Project needs to be implemented immediately, rendering the horn useless to consumers.

I am really hoping you will be able to help me get the word out there about the current poaching crisis we are facing in my beautiful country. Our rhino are running out of time and it won't be too long before they are all gone. In a desperate attempt to conserve them, our government are shipping them out to other countries they are not indigenous to. This is going to have a hugely negative impact on our ecosystem eventually. Please help me save our rhino!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/saveourrhino/
2,900 views Jul 5, 2015

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anonymous
Thanks Kelly for this video as people need to see what poaching does & looks like. Pro trade is just a way for some people to make money. I will never stop fighting as we are their warriors and we can change the way people see Rhino horn
+8 votes
Jul 5, 2015
Fight for Rhinos
Yes Kelly! We are trying to get the word out - the only way to stop poaching is to strengthen laws, show political will, and for all countries to get serious with China!
+7 votes
Jul 5, 2015
anonymous
Brilliant job pity we could not get this shown if every Asian classroom, it may be the young generation who will not believe in the use of the Rhino Horn, good luck.
+7 votes
Jul 5, 2015
Isabel Gibson Webber 390 points
Everyone needs to see this video and read the article and then finally the tide will hopefully turn in favour of the rhino population.
+7 votes
Jul 5, 2015
anonymous
Thank you for this, Kelly.  We are not conservationist "crazies" as hunters and various pro-legalisation groups would have it.  We are the ones who KNOW that given the level of the crisis already and the extent of corruption involved all along the line of trade, there is no way that legalising the market for animal parts would make sense.  It may seem the "right" thing to do to provide a commodity that the market wants.  However, that's where the argument falls down.  More people will want the commodity if it is legalised and there will be more opportunity to use legal channels to launder illegal horn or ivory or bone. Furthermore, it simply isn't right to encourage a trade where ignorant people are deceived into thinking these useless items will actually cure them of some terrible disease.  We need programmes and people like Ellen to actually broadcast the extent of the crisis, the dire forecast for the future of various species and to encourage people to protest against wildlife trade in whatever way they can. The general public also needs to be made aware of where much of the vast sums of money goes - into criminal and dangerous activities.  We should NOT be encouraging further murder of our wild animals, in any form.was educkess
+6 votes
Jul 5, 2015
Cam Steele 1,210 points
A very powerful video and very very well said Kelly. It is great to see reality presenting itself. The global Polls, Surveys and Comments out there on the Rhino Crisis show an outstanding majority of people are against Rhino horn trade and the market that exists. However we all know of the minority group out there pushing for "pro trade" with its money making agenda with a micro thin veil of conservation cast over it. To see vital resources in time, man power and moneys consumed by this greed driven pro trade agenda and dealing with it is not just disgusting, it is insane!

The ramifications of legally trading in Rhino horn go far and wide, spreading a dark and deadly cloud thru global wildlife conservation. Not only does it sign the death and ultimately the extinction of Rhino outside these proposed farms in Sth Africa, it sets a disastrous precedent for all wildlife caught in the "body part' trade. Elephant, Tiger, Bear, Pangolin and even Lion to name a few... Asia has Bear farming for bile and Tiger farming for bones, industries that sicken even the most experienced conservation people. Neither of these disgusting farming industries have assisted in saving wild Tiger and Bear populations. They have been very successful at stimulating markets that have furthered the slaughter and are smothered in corruption and crime syndicates. This very day Vietnam is shutting down Bear farms. I hope very soon we see this with the barbaric Tiger farms of China.

So many realities come to mind - How do you tell an illegal Wildlife trader, consumer and poacher that it is legal for a select wealthy few to trade in Rhino horn, but it is illegal to trade in Tiger, Elephant, Lion and the body parts of so many other species? How do you tell traditional medicine that one body part is legally, ethically or medicinally acceptable and another is not? How does the world fight to save these other great species from extinction due to the habitat destruction and very importantly the body part trade when you have legalized a body part trade for Rhino??? Not a hope in hell! You successfully destroy all the work so many dedicated people have done and are doing, in ending trade. How do you expect a Rhino poacher to accept that an elite wealthy few can legally farm Rhino and that they must stop their slaughter of wild Rhino? The cost of Rhino farming will be high – veterinary procedures, storage of high value body part product, transport locally and internationally, with all the security required. Warehousing at transport points and end destinations and along the entire chain - their security and govt policing. Auditors etc etc. The illegal trader just needs his poacher with his rifle, axe,a handful of bullets and consumer. The infrastructure is already in place to get what they need from A to B and their end market is well established with demand exceeding supply. AND the risks are low for the financial reward and that’s just a fact! The pro traders of Sth Africa will sign the death of Africa’s non farmed Rhino and that of India’s, Nepal’s, Malaysia and Indonesia’s last few wild Rhino…

I have listened to insane greedy people stating that they will flood the market with Rhino horn and it will bring the price down! Huh??? There are not enough Rhino out there to bring the price down and if this was true, how will the Rhino farmers make an income? Lunacy! This reality I have presented before – “China and Vietnam are home to some of the highest economic growth in the world. These 2 nations have seen the greatest growth in global society’s middle and upper classes. China had 2,378,000 millionaire households in 2013, a rise of 82% from the previous year. Last year alone China created 40 000 more Millionaires. In 2013 Vietnam witnessed its first "publicly recognizable" home grown Billionaire. There are believed to be more, who shy from the spot light. Global financial growth CNBC March 2014- "Asia and emerging markets will drive much of the growth. The report said the country expected to see the fastest growth in millionaires is Vietnam, with a projected growth rate for $30 million-plus residents of 166 percent." The Middle Upper classes of these nations are driving the global demand for Rhino, Elephant, Tiger and Bear Body parts [to mention a few] and these nations are seeing explosive growth in people who can afford whatever they want! Instead of trying to seriously decrease and stop the trade, we have a bunch of people wanting to supplement it in the name of conservation. How in the hell is the world going to stop the slaughter if it stimulates trade???”

A number of years ago Japan was the main market for illegal Ivory and the Middle East was a major destination for Rhino horn. This has all changed and these nations today hardly feature, if at all. Thankfully through highly dedicated people, inroads are being made in Vietnam and China made and we are seeing the message get across, to end trade. It is early days, but it is happening. Bravo to these great people and a big thanks to you Kelly for sharing your video and highly informed words…
+5 votes
Jul 5, 2015
anonymous
Hello - Ellenation, the situation with wildlife trade and smuggling worldwide - largely generated on demand out of Asia is decimating wildlife stock world wide, we recently hear pornographic amounts of animals and animal parts from pangolin, tortoises, elephant ivory and rhino horn being seized by customs worldwide, Daily in this country South Africa - which has a comparatively high level of reporting compared to other less developed countries to our north we are assaulted by image after image of mutilated and destroyed animals. Having lived in close proximity to nature and wildlife in Africa for over 50 years I can truly say that this is a HOLOCAUST incomparable to anything I have witnessed in my lifetime and these species NEED OUR HELP - everyone's help, I can only support Kelly Pretorius and ask that whatever preconceptions people have about the species which live with us on this planet - throw them away - our species is submitting them to indescribable suffering and injustice and we have to stand with them or lose the viability of nature to nurture and support our common futures.
+5 votes
Jul 5, 2015
anonymous
Well said!
+5 votes
Jul 5, 2015
anonymous
Thank you so much Kelly. I will be sharing this vid and article. I am very much against any and all trade in rhino's, elephants and all other wild. Some airlines are refusing to transport any wildlife skins, heads etc regardless of whether they were "legally" hunted or not and I'm glad of that.
+5 votes
Jul 6, 2015
LastDaysofIvory 260 points
††† Kelly is doing great work! I suppose everyone knows David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Jane Goodall have signed onto Rages.One.Fight.Unite - the Facebook movement led by Duke Ingram of BESUREIS, attempting to halt the Rhino and Elephant Holocausts perpetrated by faithful Muslims selling elephant tusks and rhino horns to China. The funds purchase weapons needed for the ongoing Islamocaust in Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Darfur and elsewhere.

Unsurprisingly, these genocides are accompanied by eerie media silence. Although this information is played down, Hussein Obama was born and raised as a Sunni Muslim (both his fathers, mother, brother and grandmother are Sunni Muslims) and underwrites much of the Sunni  expansion headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the Sunni King to whom Hussein Obama bowed. Little wonder the White House is indifferent to the sacrifice of families, rhinos and elephants whose deaths help  establish the Middle East as a Sunni Caliphate: the tribal banner and brotherhood of Hussein's immediate family.
www.facebook.com/rages.one.fight.unite
www.Facebook.com/IslamisUnlawful
Duke Ingram BESUREIS
www.youtube.com/watch?v=82-V4VBBnJk
+3 votes
Jul 5, 2015
anonymous
STOP THE BUYING AND WE WILL STOP THE POACHING, That includes the hunting
+1 vote
Jul 13, 2015
anonymous
This is the truth, plain and clear.  The fantasy that rhino farmers and pro trade pro hunters try to sell just doesn't come from a place of caring about the rhinos or wildlife in general.
0 votes
Aug 18, 2015
anonymous
What beats me is the constant use of graphic pictures and statistics - that only show the failure if the very trade ban these people are trying to uphold. This is what the trade ban looks like. Then you go on to use a photo taken of a lady who last their rhino in a poaching event - who openly said that we need to lift the ban to save the rhino. The mind boggles.
–4 votes
Jul 7, 2015
Kelly Pretorius 880 points
Firstly, if you are going to comment here, make sure you are armed with fact and not just an opinion. The ban was working extremely well and in fact brought back the rhino from the brink of extinction decades ago. Poaching only started with the pseudo hunts and I can point fingers directly at some pro traders for that. Anti traders have nothing to do with the ban, it has always been there. Secondly, those poached rhino have no idea about pro or anti trade, they are oblivious to it. They are dead. So whether or not their "owners" are/were pro trade is totally irrelevant and beside the point. What boggles the mind is the stubborn insistence of the pro trade lobby, who are all financially driven, to push for uplifting a ban which will drive our rhino to extinction. I refuse to allow this to happen for as long as I live and breathe. I will not be put in a position of saying "I told you so" when our last rhino has been poached. Now go and do some homework and do not come back here without your facts intact. Thank you.
Cam Steele 1,210 points
Brilliantly said Kelly. It took me a few re-reads just to understand the anonymous persons post and the response that came to mind was, I will leave as colourful.  "TRADE" is why - Rhino are being poached, Elephant are being poached, Tiger and Bear farmed and poached and every other animal caught in the body part trade is slaughtered? No trade - no poaching... It aint brain surgery to understand and funnily enough the vast majority of folk seem to understand it. Yeah, the mind boggles...
Kelly Pretorius 880 points
Absolutely Cam, and the saddest part of all of this is that the pro and anti trade lobbyists are at each others throats when they should actually be united and the rhino are caught in the crossfire. I just wish with all my might that pro traders could see what damage they are causing in user countries, what damage our government is causing by requesting to lift the ban. How can you expect user countries to take us seriously when we ask them to please not use rhino horn because they are brutalizing our rhino to death, while at the same time sending them a message that we are requesting to have the ban lifted so you can carry on using rhino horn. It is pure unadulterated insanity! Please desist! You are directly killing our rhino!
Alibird 110 points
Very well put Kelly! You can't tell a nation that Rhino horn does nothing and it is needless slaughter of a species and then decide to trade in Rhino Horn because you want to make money! You are absolutely wonderful for all the work you do to share the word and educate the masses!