News24

Toxic rhino horn treatment a thorny issue

2011-09-08 22:29

Johannesburg - The environmental jury is out on whether treating a rhino horn with toxic substances is an effective method to curb poaching in South Africa.

"If it makes people sick, it will surely make animals sick," the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) said.

"It's a complex, ethical issue because it involves poisoning people," the Private Rhino Owners' Association (PROA) said.

"If they say it won't hurt the environment, they must be using a synthetic compound that hasn't been proven to be toxic to humans," replied the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies at the University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort.

On Wednesday, the Rhino Rescue Project announced it had treated a number of rhinos' horns with a mixture of ectoparasitacides [drugs which kill parasites living on the surface of the host].

The project treated animals at the Rhino and Lion Reserve in Kromdraai, north-west of Johannesburg, more than a year ago, claiming that no adverse behavioural or environmental effects were recorded.

The project's Lorinda Hern said the potion was not lethal to humans, but would cause unpleasant symptoms such as convulsions and headaches. The treatment, injected into the horns, was described as a cost-effective, long-lasting and immediate solution for private rhino owners seen as easy targets by poachers.

On Thursday, EWT's compliance and enforcement spokesperson Rynette Coetzee said the effect of the treatment on a whole population of rhinos was not clear.

"What if the rhinos use their horns to scratch themselves? The toxins may enter the bloodstream and have an effect. Every rhino is an individual with unique behaviour. Our main concern is that this treatment is not damaging rhino or other wildlife."

She said the potion's active ingredients would have to be legal and in line with both the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies Act, and the Hazardous Substances Act.

On Wednesday, Hern said she had sought "extensive legal opinion" on the treatment, a combination of legal chemicals.

Richard Burroughs, director of the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies, said on Thursday he could not give academic comment without knowing the exact components of the solution.

"However, it sounds like it may be synthetic pyrethroids which are used because they are environmentally friendly. We don't know the effect on humans and also what concentration will penetrate the rhino horn.

"It might be worthwhile, from a public relations point of view, to those who are reasonably informed. However, poachers are not informed and will still shoot rhinos."

He said it was the right of individual owners to treat their animals for protection, but did not see it becoming national policy.

Stockpiles of horns

PROA chairperson Pelham Jones was wary of commenting on a treatment that could inflict harm on people.

"We as an association have no firm position. We will certainly look at it... and welcome any legal initiative that is shown to be credible and measurable."

He said PROA supported the legalisation of the trade of horns as a solution.

"We would like to see the legitimate trade of horns from rhinos that have died from age, fighting or relocation.

"Farmers are sitting on huge stockpiles of horns... we can meet a short-term demand by releasing them and run an education campaign in the process."

Jones said a horn's status could be checked by DNA registration at Onderstepoort, opening up a process for possible criminal proceedings against those who had horns illegally.

"To create legislation allowing us to sell horns, waiting for a country that legislates horn buying, and waiting for approval by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species... could take up to six years."

Coetzee said she was against legalising the market, as this would fuel a demand that could not be met.

"We'll have those with money buy every horn they can get. Those who can't afford it will resort to poaching to get a horn."

Burroughs said legalising horn trade would stem the demand, and owners could de-horn large numbers of rhinos on their game farms in a sustainable way.

What was clear among the environmentalists was that the department of environmental affairs needed to regulate the issuing of permits for legal game hunting.

"The department has failed to implement stricter controls. We have asked for a centralised permit office that would police this issue," Jones said.

Coetzee said putting a moratorium on hunting would damage the tourism industry and target legitimate hunters wanting to enter the country.

"The sustainable and legal utilisation of wildlife [like hunting] is vital to the future of tourism in South Africa."

Since January 1, poachers killed more than 280 rhinos in South Africa. The local rhino population was around 18 800 white rhino and 2 200 black rhino.

Comments
  • Ryan - 2011-09-08 23:02

    well they should start by adopting a policy of "shoot to kill" when a poacher is spotted. no chance to surrender either. just get rid of the vermin. but in the meantime poisoning the horns is worthwhile, especially knowing that some of those ingesting the horns will be convulsing soon after.

  • william.botha - 2011-09-08 23:09

    The only problem I foresee is that it won't spare the life of Rhino's. How will the poacher know if the animal has been treated? Kill first and find out later? Start farming Rhino's intensively. By the stats there is huge demand. You do not have to kill the rhino's, horn can be harvested humanely. And the horn regrows, so it is sustainable. Poaching will continue, considering the scenario of livestock theft, but breeding Rhino's in quantity will offset those losses.

      sicofit - 2011-09-22 07:47

      They should paint the horns red so the poachers can see that is has been poisened. They should stop 'legal' hunting of rhinos and in the meantime the government should poison and supply the market with all the horns they have confiscated. Market will drop and then there will be no need to hunt rhino anymore.

  • Banned - 2011-09-09 00:22

    Oh these environmentalists really cracked me up. First you lied about global warning, now you dont want us to at least try and protect our wildlife. Let me guess you want to start a fund to study the effects of doping the horns. Should be a nice fat check while the rhinos are dying. If I had it my way I'd drill some holes in the horns and put some anthrax capsules in there. That would be justice.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-09 09:32

      You really haven't thought about this, have you? Do you not think it might just conceivably be worthwhile to make sure the 'poison' or whatever it is doesn't kill the rhinos as well? Or is that too complicated for your brain to process?

      ProfAndy - 2011-09-09 10:29

      @Umfubi - you don't seem to have thought much either - rhino horn is keratin, the same non-living waste product that makes up our nails and hairs, so it is not in contact with the blood-stream and therefore poses no threat to the animal to have it's horn poisoned. The only risk (to the animal) is if it get's scratched with another rhino's poisoned horn but I am betting that if done correctly (at least a centimetre deep in the horn) that this won't happen either. This approach has been tested at the Krugersdorp Reserve with arsenic as the poison and was found to be totally harmless to the animal itself. To deter poachers, they might also want to paint the poisoned horns as a warning. Then, later, the painted horns may or may not be poisoned but by then lots of people should have got very ill and poachers deterred... Good criticism should include a tentative solution, not only poiting out the flaws of someone else's argument. I don't see that in your comment so can only assume you're actually more intertested in venting personal frustration...

      Banned - 2011-09-09 10:39

      Umfubi, you not too sharp are you. The capsules are proven technology. All your comments here seem to favour the poachers and the end users. While your concern for thieves and impotent old farts is touching, which one are you. Let me give you a solution that even your miniscule brain can process - "One Bullet One Poacher" Problem Solved!!!

      Proefleser - 2011-09-09 14:39

      The one thing I'm scared of here is that those idiots will find out that giraffes' 'horns' are made of the same substance and start poaching those. I mean, a horn is horn is a horn if you want it for its shape.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-09 17:27

      @ProfAndy: it would be really really useful to insert a capsule, wouldn't it? No way could the processors of the horns find and remove these, hmmm? @Banned: I'm actually quite sharp, thanks, and no I don't 'favour' the poachers - why in the hell would I do such a moronic thing. Nor am I in the slightest concerned about the welfare of the 'thieves and impotent old farts' - I'm simply saying that as a solution to the scourge of rhino poaching there are flaws in what is being done. This article was about concerns about the process, and that is valid - research is required. By the way, do you still believe that horns are 'marketed' as aphrodisiacs? You might like to research this a little - the latest information is that they're used in Chinese medicine. A relatively minor point, but still.

  • To The Point - 2011-09-09 00:24

    PROA chairperson Pelham Jones you are a total idiot. How dare you express concern for these criminals? If they know the horns is poisoned and consume it – LET THEM DIE. You think showing concern for the trash who slaughter our animals will get you extra points, then think again. People like you are the cause this has become a crisis. You should not be in the position you are in, so “mr chairperson” Get off your fat smug butt and start fighting to save Rhino or shut up and get out. Perhaps you are the mastermind behind these slaughters with your suggestion to sell the stockpile of Rhino horn kept by the government and that minister of the environment? You certainly speak with their tongue. I pity mothers who raised vacuum heads like you? Get your priorities right - let the poachers and consumers of Rhino horn die and save the Rhino you lump head.

      tryanything - 2011-09-09 06:09

      Vacuum head ...I like that

      Umfubi - 2011-09-09 09:40

      I cannot believe the calibre of the commenters on these forums. Has it occurred to you, oh Great Thinker, that the guy who is going to die is not the one who murdered the rhino? Sure, he's creating the demand - but a) nobody will know why it is he died, b) the killers of the rhinos as well as all the other middlemen have long since got their money, so how will the death of one customer stop them trying to earn more? Do you somehow think that every Vietnamese or wherever the stuff goes puts powdered rhino horn on their sandwiches every day? Do you not understand that in effect, very few people will ever ingest rhino horn - so even if a few of them die, it's not going to make as big a news splash even as the contaminated dogfood did a couple of years back? This is an underground trade - the Vietnamese Pick 'n Pay doesn't sell rhino horn next to the potato chips in their supermarkets. Poisoning the stuff isn't going to cause mass panic. It isn't going to solve the problem - and there could be fall-out if it turns out to harm the very rhinos it is designed to protect. All you people gearing up to 'dislike' this comment - could you just engage your brains for a moment? This may not be what you would LIKE to hear - it isn't what I would like, either. But that doesn't make it invalid!

      Fred - 2011-09-09 10:16

      Umfubi, if you'd bothered reading yesterday article you have learnt that the "poison" doesn't not kill either the animal or the sicko taking the powder, before insulting people make sure you know what you're talking about. Unless you're involve with the poaching. I cannot understand why you'd care if the murderers or the users got ill or not, are you protecting your livelihood?

      Proefleser - 2011-09-09 14:42

      You're wrong Umfubi. Some time ago a few men in the Far East got very sick (one died, I hope) and it was traced directly to poisoned rhino horn that has been poached on private game farms in SA. So they will know, don't you worry.

  • Janine - 2011-09-09 06:32

    If an insecticide ingested by a human cannot kill the human, then why should people worry about whether it can poison a rhino when put in its horn? I would support this method. Legalising rhino horn trade is an absurd idea. Rather ban hunting.

      Peter - 2011-09-09 06:48

      A rhino is a huge animal. The small level of poison it may take into the blood stream is not likely to affect it in the same way as a little bit taken up by humans - that have a much smaller body - are affected. While under most circumstances I would rather support a green environment, with the proven lax attitude from government toward the rhino poaching situation throughout the country, I whole heartedly support treating the horns in this way. And yes, include treating the horns already in store rooms. Are/were the once rhinos in China? I often wonder how people living thousands of kilometres from Africa can think ground rhino horn can give them a horn. LOL

      Really - 2011-09-09 07:06

      A real horny issue. lol

      grant9 - 2011-09-09 07:32

      @Peter, There are Asian rhinos that are a different breed to the African white and black rhino.

      umlaut - 2011-09-09 08:09

      Yes Peter---and when there are no more rhinos left--what will they use then-?--it is the same as grinding your lovers toe nails or any persons toe nails to a powder, and drinking it with water. (maybe they should start doing it now. It is just as sick.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-09 09:49

      Your logic in saying that insecticide which doesn't kill humans can't harm rhinos is flawed. Harming rhinos is not necessarily the same as killing them - there are loads of other possible unfavourable side effects - what if it makes them infertile? What if it interferes with their digestion, or their liver/kidney function? What if it causes their calves to abort? What if it makes them blind? Or causes them to convulse and fall in the water and drown? Surely it is of interest to consider these questions? People often think that if something is ok for humans to ingest then every other living creature would also be ok with it. That is not true - different animals/birds have different metabolisms, and what is healthy for one may be unhealthy or even toxic for another. A parrot will die if he eats certain parts of avocado. A dog will die if it eats more than a critical amount of chocolate. Dogs' blood corpuscles break down if they eat onions. Paracetamol is toxic to cats. Would you like more examples?

  • Lizette - 2011-09-09 07:01

    I honestly don't give a damn about those people dying who kill, or believe in the crap that the horn will heal whatever diseases! They don't give a moment's thought about the animal suffering or the pregnant cow, killing 2 or leaving how many poor babies orphans! Why should we?!

  • grant9 - 2011-09-09 07:28

    I posted an idea yesterday which someone said I should have patented. As rhino horn is made of hair, why not manufacture fake horns from animal hair or pigs bristle and sell them. The medical results for the Chinese/Vietnamese will be just the same i.e all in the mind.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-09 09:50

      It's been thought of. Excellent notion only nobody will buy it.

      allison.thomson - 2011-09-09 10:33

      Hi Grant - this has been tried but very unsuccessfully - because of campaigns to sell them other keratin have been tried they are now wanting the whole horn on part of the head so they know it is fresh - I read a post the other day as well where a woman posted a comment saying that people must be careful when buying rhino horn from farms because only wild horn has the magical properties they need. What trash! But that only put the whole farming issue as a means of solving this problem down the toilet as well.

  • wv - 2011-09-09 07:30

    They should use something that is lethal to humans not causing unpleasant symptoms.

  • Garry2 - 2011-09-09 07:46

    I support the use of the treatment of the horns and hope it makes the users of the horn VERY sick. But what should be done it allow the farming of the horns. If this could be done it would be a sustainable use and not neccessary to kill the animal just sedate it, remove the horn and it will grow again. Sell it and the price will come down stopping the attraction of poaching. Unfortunately our stupid department of wildlife wont allow this so are helping to create the demand. Makes one wonder why .... Perhaps its worth their while if some people get paid off?

  • umlaut - 2011-09-09 08:02

    "It's a complex, ethical issue because it involves poisoning people," the Private Rhino Owners' Association (PROA) said." People can also get alcohol poisoning, and it is not stated as such on a bottle of wine for example. If this situation is advertised in every country of the world in a major news paper then the onus is on the users of rhino horn if they want to get poisoned or not. At the same time it will be advertising the Rhino's plight. If they still want to sell poisoned rhino horn they will be forced by their local laws to show it as such on the packaging-like rat poison. Food can poison you if not treated correctly . Using electricity in the wrong way can kill you. Your wife can kill you if not treated correctly, etc........ It is important to act quickly now to advertise this fact worldwide because it is a 'rumour' now and the poachers and syndicates will put in every effort to 'stock up' and we will see a marked increase in poaching now before this 'rumour' becomes fact and the market takes note of this. SPEED IS OF THE ESSENSE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JustinD - 2011-09-09 08:21

    The idea should be to kill people who digest it.....i guess it would mostly be poachers and Asian consumers who oppose this new method. Neither would be missed.

      Umfubi - 2011-09-09 09:52

      Do you really believe the poachers take a bite out of each horn before they sell it?

      JustinD - 2011-09-09 12:23

      @Umfubi are you stupid? read my comment again. I said they would be opposed to this method along with Asians.

      sabc10 - 2011-09-09 12:43

      You would be surprised to know that western people also use rhino horn or derivatives thereof. The food chain is linked.We will eventually be affected too.

  • Dicey - 2011-09-09 08:26

    I say, take that stockpile of horns ... lace them with a completely deadly poison, & release them onto the market via the same dodgy channels the poached ones use. The end users will start dying, thus decreasing demand & pointing out who they are, the suppliers wont be trusted anymore, & the who structure will fall apart. Once the fact that you could die from rhino horn outweighs the myths about it's 'benefits', people wont want to risk it.

      Fanie - 2011-09-09 12:21

      Agreed - poison horns and mined perlemoen shells will get the message across

      JustinD - 2011-09-09 12:25

      Yeah good idea but they must first suffer for a few days/weeks.

  • Wes - 2011-09-09 08:34

    ""If it makes people sick, it will surely make animals sick," the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) said" No thats wrong

  • allison.thomson - 2011-09-09 08:37

    What must be added is that past attempts to legalize trade in certain animal parts has actually resulted in escalated poaching/hunting - bear bile stands as a good example. Syndicates will not stand back and accept loss of income due to legalizing of trade - they create a market differentiator between the premium natural/ wild product and the inferior farmed/cultivated product.....and poaching escalates due to market demand for the premium product. These syndicates are not backyard yobo's making a buck from selling rhino horn - they are sophisticated criminal networks who are also involved in drug running, human trafficking, arms dealing etc. They are in fact waiting for us to legalize trade in order that they can create their premium product on the back of legalized trade.....and we have those in this country who having given them that, will be able to stop them ?.....stupid, arrogant and short sighted in the extreme.

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-09 08:37

    I really hope a solution is found for the travesty of losing our rhino population. Government is not taking the matter seriously enough and the longer a solution eludes the problem, the more rhino are going to be lost for no good reason other than huge amounts of money!

  • allison.thomson - 2011-09-09 08:41

    Legalising the sale of rhino horns only tells criminals if your step outside the law for long enough we will eventually change our laws to suite your demand - shall we make rape and murder legal considering how prolific those crimes are? DON'T THINK SO!!!!!! The only people who are fighting against a Moratorium are the people who are benefiting already from the illegal trade. When reading anybody's view on this matter you should ask yourself a couple of questions: Is this person benefiting financially from the current situation? Who sits on the committee's that decide who gets issue permits? - Join www.facebook.com/groups/OSCAP/ - all the answers are there!

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-09 08:48

    IT REALLY DOESN'T BODE WELL FOR RHINOS - THERE ARE EVEN FARMS THAT HAVE BEEN SET UP FOR BREEDING PURPOSES IN ASIA! SOME OF THESE URL's WILL GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION ON THE PLIGHT OF THIS MAGNIFICENT ANIMAL: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/2010/07/20/revealed-location-of-chinas-rhino-farm-and-horn-harvesting-experiments/ http://www.fm.co.za/Article.aspx?id=152898 http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/20110819/rhino-crisis-round-pregnant-rhino-murdered-cites-meeting-controversy-more.htm SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE URGENTLY!!!!

  • Zambezi - 2011-09-09 09:00

    Put cyanide in each and every horn and don't say a word. These bastards will soon start dying by the hundreds in Asia and then the rhino horn trade will stop.

  • allison.thomson - 2011-09-09 09:04

    Just to answer the question about the treatment of the horn that was discussed in this article. The compound used was developed by a Veterinarian and is completely non-toxic to the rhino or ox-pecker or any other animal. It is a mixture of pesticides that are commonly used to protect animals from common pests. It has been successfully used without any side effects on pregnant Rhino cows and on Rhino babies as young as 2 months old. It is completely safe to Rhino - it is only toxic to humans as are any pesticides that are used like tick and flea treatments for dogs.

  • allison.thomson - 2011-09-09 09:23

    I would like to explain the treatment of the horn a little more deeply. Not only is the horn treated with a toxic (to humans) insecticide but it is also infused with an indelible dye (similar to that used to mark money in cash in transit heists) This dye is a bright cerise pink (it is not visible on the outside of the horn) and cannot ever be removed from the horn even if it is ground up into a fine powder. This dye can be picked up at scanners at airports etc so it is very effective in tracing even the tiniest amount of powdered horn. A very sophisticated GPS system is also inserted into the horn and sends out alarms to the Rhino owner the minute there is any unusual activity from the Rhino - i.e if it suddenly starts running or it is stationary for an unusual period an alarm is sent out and the owner is notified - it is very sophisticated and all the details of this cannot be shared in a forum like this as it will certainly be picked up by the poachers themselves. Full DNA samples are also taken during this procedure and this information is kept at Ondestepoort in a Rhino DNA database (Rhodis) that they are running.

      Grev Ruddock - 2011-09-19 06:01

      Alison, thanks for all the info. And certainly, also, for balanced comment, -this approach is constructive and informative. If all comments on this forum used a similar approach, then we move forward. Grevile

  • Iblis - 2011-09-09 09:27

    The only thing that is going to curb poaching is to legalise, regulate and monitor the trade. Horns can be harvested without killing the rhino, and rhino's with horns are not going to be poached.

      allison.thomson - 2011-09-09 09:37

      People need to understand that a Rhino needs it's horn - it is used for protection and for gathering food to feed the babies. Female Rhino who have been de-horned are unable to protect their babies and it has been proven that most of them will lose their babies within the first three months to predators because they do not have their horns. It is also been seen that the whole hierarchy which is vital in nature disappears with de-horning as youngsters start challenging de-horned males and the whole natural balance is disturbed. De-horning is not an option. Legalisation is not an option. It is appalling to consider these as options

      Shelli - 2011-09-09 09:39

      @Iblis - that is not a valid solution. Rhinos need their horns for protection of themselves and their young. The use them for fighting and to break branches off trees etc etc. If you cut them down they regrow again quickly. It is VERY expensive and permits are needed even to tranquilize a rhino each and every time you want to administer any treatment. Even if you are the owner. It is completely counter-productive for private rhino owners to keep on cutting down horns. They would have no time to do anything else and would spend a fortune.

  • Shelli - 2011-09-09 09:44

    Another point to add to my comment below re: dehorning. There is research that shows that females stop breeding once their horns are removed because they can no longer protect their young. Why all the talk about dehorning, regulating horn trade etc. If our government had the guts/motivation they would solve this problem and deal with the disgusting scum that are involved in it. People dont need rhino horn. But money talks.

  • Pfish - 2011-09-09 09:59

    Here is an article that shows the true cruelty of the rhino poacher, http://www.wildernessfoundation.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50:geza-the-final-hours-of-a-white-rhino&catid=2:news&Itemid=18

  • Fred - 2011-09-09 10:08

    Well that was quicking than I expected, try to save the animals and the people who job it really is try to put a stop to it, you have to wonder who's side some of these groups are on, they've done nothing to stop the massacres but they're sure to block anybody else trying??

  • GEvans - 2011-09-09 10:35

    Great idea,

  • Perplexed24 - 2011-09-09 10:46

    As long as it doesn't hurt/harm the rhino or environment this should be implemented ASAP. Using muti using rhino horn is not allowed- Buyer beware! This is for the sake of our future, our childrens future, our childrens childrens future etc. That is greater than some harm to people who don't care a toss for our environment, the animals or the law! This is about the greater good! Frankly lowlifes who just want an aphodisiac are ready to skrew us all over- now it should be tough on them! let them all take responsibility for the poor actions! The greatest human right is to be responsible! I also do believe that there should be a shoot on site policy for poachers- If you know the kettle is hot, don't touch it- If you know you will get shot poaching, don't do it- that responsibility remains with the individual!

  • EarthBound - 2011-09-09 11:14

    Hope toxic application, if not harmful to the rhinos, are not going to be discontinued due to LEGALITIES. Animals also have rights. Paint the horns a distinctive colour and put on signs that the horns are treated with toxic and may lead to injury (and my personal opinion - HOPEFULLY death) to anyone trying to poach them.

  • fly - 2011-09-09 11:41

    they should inplant plastic explosives into the horn so when who ever is cutting the horn off and all the poaches gathered around get blown of this planet straight to hell

      Fanie - 2011-09-09 12:27

      not plastique - but rather two tough plastic vials planted close to each other with liquid explosive - running the length of the horn- totally inert until it is mixed - implant it on the back curve to protect it from rhino using his/her horn in the usual fassion

  • Fanie - 2011-09-09 12:18

    make up your bloody minds - this is the first proactive step - taint the fountain from which they drink. And worrying about the consumers of rhino horn...that is just pathetic

  • mbube - 2011-09-09 13:25

    I guess it also won't take long before a method or simple process is discovered to clean the horns from the poison.

  • OBwun - 2011-09-09 17:19

    Instead of just dissing the toxic thing - offer an alternative?

  • OBwun - 2011-09-09 17:21

    Legalising won't get off the ground - it's been put forward before & the 'bunny-huggers' offed it. Same with elephant ivory. Ask NPB, they had tons they had to burn.

  • saxoffonist - 2011-09-09 18:45

    This is an economic issue. I approve of any way to reduce the demand for rhino horn, but they are going extinct because they are rare. This won't stop people from killing the rhinos even if the poacher know the rhino horn is tainted. They will kill it anyways because after spending hours and days tracking a rhino only to find out that its useless will only make them kill it because they don't want to take the chance of tracking it again. The only way this works is to hit every rhino in the population, and even if it lasts the lifetime of the horn, its not genetic. The next generation doesn't inherit the toxin. So this is another unmanageable and expensive solution. The end goal is to change attitudes in cultures where there is a demand for something as ridiculous as rhino horn. Saying don't use rhino horn or we will poison you isn't a message that changes peoples attitude. Clearly there is some future for rhino farming if the Chinese themselves are trying to set up farms. Why not set up farms in a well regulated country like the US, where populations can be cared for by a governing entity, where there is low risk for poaching, and where the profits can be used to increase education around the world. I understand that someone will use this to their advantage, but a reduction in demand is a reduction in poaching. It was prohibition that put illegal syndicates in power.

  • Carol - 2011-09-09 20:48

    PLEASE DO THIS USE THE TOXIN TO SAVE THE RHINOS.

  • Carol - 2011-09-09 20:49

    PLEASE USE THE TOXIN TO SAVE THE RHINOS WE HAVE LIFT.

      Willem - 2011-09-10 10:14

      Carol, most rhino horn is used for statutes and dagger handels than for medicine. Poisening the horn is not going to stop the poaching. Bring back the death penalty and hang all rhino poachers. Get the South African Government to reach a MOA with Mozambique so that we can have poachers there arrested. That might help.

  • Willem - 2011-09-10 10:11

    Why is there no news on the rhino that was poached in the Sabi Sands on Thursday evening? Has someone been paid of to keep it quiet?

  • papio - 2011-09-22 08:44

    I have another idea. 1)Catch one of the poachers 2)Offer him more than the dealers are giving, to take dehorned pieces of rhino horn to his "bosses". 3) these horns will contain small amounts of wild obtained anthrax drilled into the horn. These horns end up on the market and the EFar east governments end up having to stop the smuggling syndicates to avoid a f-up! No market or consumers, no problem.

  • buckeye001991 - 2011-10-10 21:59

    well lets see humans should not be stealing and killing for horns. than they should be poison!!! If it wont hurt the animal than goes for it!!! there are lots of species that are poisonous. just add rhino to the list. there are too many humans on this world. if we get rid of the greedy, self absorb, stupid ones. well than at least smart ones will learn and not poach. and the rhinos will be safe.

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