As a private rhino custodian in South Africa I have witnessed today the SWAZILAND’S PROPOSAL TO LEGALIZE a regulated TRADE in ethically produced RHINO HORN which was rejected by 100 Countries, with only 29 in support. On the other side, those who supported legalisation represented 90% of all remaining rhinos on the planet but were outnumbered by those who collectively 'protect' the remaining 10%.
It’s a fact that illegal trade in rhino horn threatens the survival of rhino. Yet do we recognize the fact that rhino horn is a renewable product that could be produced without killing a single rhino?
We are in a situation where the current international prohibition on trade in rhino horn bans only legal supply where rhino isn’t poached, while CITES ban has miserably failed to prevent illegal trade where the rhino is poached. I believe our debate should not be about the trade, but which trade should prevail – legal or illegal?
The purpose of CITES is to ensure that legal international trade in wild flora and fauna does not threaten the survival of species due to the trade.
One assumes that an international convention like CITES should have the responsibility to approve trade in legal horn where the rhino stays alive and the horn grows back, because it is to the advantage of the rhino. Swaziland’s proposal proved that CITES do not fulfill that purpose. What do we need for the CITES if the monopoly for criminals is secured by this convention?
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