International Debate: Assessing The Risk Of Rhino Horn Trade
Nose horn, that is what the word rhinoceros actually means, and these huge thick skinned mammals are Africa’s most endangered animals because of the high demand for their curved horn.
By: Letlhogonolo Ndhlovu
We are constantly informed about the reality of rhinoceros poaching cruelty in South Africa. Since the beginning of 2014 alone, about 172 rhinos have been poached with Kruger National Park being the most targeted.
The rhino horn which is made up of keratin, the same minerals and proteins found in our nails, is believed to possess pharmacological properties, is used as an aphrodisiac or is kept just for status. After all the trauma and pain of having their horns hacked and in most cases left to die bleeding, the rhino horns are sold illegally for about R536,119 per kilogram to be used for strange customs.
Suggested solution for the rhino extinction crisis:
Over the years conservationists have marched, hosted campaigns and educated the masses about the danger of rhino poaching that will automatically lead to the extinction of the world’s second largest mammal.
The South African Government’s solution for the rhino poaching crisis is to legalise and regulate rhino horn trade through CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) which has prohibited international rhino horn trade since 1997. The government hopes that by legalising trade and dehorning, less rhinos will be killed and the market value for rhino horns will decrease.
A South African NGO called Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching (OSCAP), has organised an intense debate headlined, Assessing the risk of rhino horn trade. “The aim of the conference is to openly debate the risks associated with the government’s proposal to legalise trade in rhino horn,” according to the director of OSCAP, Allison Thompson.
A list of international key speakers such as the executive director of the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Mary Rice; international conservationist and wildlife trade investigator Suzy Watts; co-founder of the Born Free Foundation Will Travers; environmental journalist Ian Michler and many more will be part of the open panel debate on the 8th and 9th of April 2014 at Onderstepoort Lapa in the north of Pretoria.
Join OSCAP for a lively debate as they tackle reasons why opening up rhino horn trade will not work. Go to our Events and Entertainment and OSCAP’s Facebook Page for more details about the OSCAP debate.
In the end we hope that all the commitment that is put into conserving our rhinos will eradicate ancient myths and bring about workable solutions so that the rhinos can be left to the business of digging with their nose horns.
Read how Woodrock Animal Rescue is doing their part to save our animals.