Rhino activists threaten SA boycott

2012-02-22 22:26

Pretoria - Conservation activists have threatened to push for a global boycott on South African products if the government does not immediately stop all trade in rhino horn.

In a petition delivered to the presidency in Pretoria on Wednesday, they also demanded the destruction of the state's rhino horn stockpiles within 60 days.

Concern over the unabated killing of rhino was spreading beyond South African borders, said Marianne du Plessis, a director of the non-profit body Section 24 Rights Coalition.

"Not only us, the people represented here, the international community is deeply concerned with the ongoing killing of our animals," she told reporters.

"The concern also centres around our government's lack of a strong will to stop the problem."

International partners

Du Plessis said section 24 of the Constitution dealt with "the protection of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations", but that there had been inadequate implementation of those dictates in the country.

"We have gathered more than 22 000 signatures in this petition from South African communities and other countries across the world. Government has 60 days to turn around the situation or we call for drastic action, including a boycott."

The international mobilisation of a boycott on local goods would affect agriculture, tourism and service provision sectors of government.

Du Plessis said her organisation enjoyed the support of numerous international partners, such as the International Animal Rescue Foundation, an umbrella network of institutions which advocate for nature preservation and humanitarian relief.

The activists burnt a model wooden rhino horn at the Union Buildings in a symbolic act intended to convince the government to destroy its horn stockpiles, a move they believe will save the endangered rhino.

Rian Geldenhuys, another director at Section 24, said South African authorities needed to decisively engage with their counterparts in the Asian countries to which most of the country's rhino horns were exported.

"Government's action will be very critical in this campaign. They cannot be denouncing trade in rhino horn and at the same time they are sitting on a large stockpile of those horns. We want those horns destroyed," said Geldenhuys.

Head of public liaison in the presidency Mosa Sijosingoe received the petition and said the message would be delivered to President Jacob Zuma.

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-02-22 22:43

    Excellent news. Conservation activists can save time and start with the boycott proceedings because this 'government' is not going to do anything about it, except of course, in which our dear president is an expert in............ empty promises.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 07:02

      And still none of them stage protests in China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand. Why not. Stage a sit in in Tiananmen Square, march on the Houses of Parliament in Vietnam. Burn a symbolic Rhino handled dagger in Laos. Nope, victimise the victims. South Africa have the only sustainable iincreasing rhino population in the world, lets make that worthless. Du Plessis and Geldenhuys se mo#r, they need to think about booking some tickets to China to take on the real criminals.

      JasonEye - 2012-02-23 07:24

      There is a fairly simple solution to all this. Just do what Botswana did and use the military to perform anti-poaching operations. There are enough of them sitting around shagging each other.....put them to some good use. It doesn't take too long to teach the basic tracking skills needed to track these guys through the bush. I doubt they are utilizing any anti-tracking methods because they want to be in a out quickly. Assign a ranger with them to make sure they behave and lets put SA military equipment and vehicles to some good use. As for the smaller private game farms, put anti poaching guys in place. And don't put them on quad bikes, like some game farms i wont mention, because that's wasting time and money. Good old fashioned foot patrols and tracking is the way to go.

      rialine - 2012-02-23 07:47

      I agree, just sad that the farmers of our country have to suffer (if boycotts go through on agricultural products) because our government can pull a finger. They actually suffer twice, as most owners of game farms who are already losing rhino, also own agricultural farms and will lose money if they cant export.

      Elle-Black - 2012-02-23 08:40

      @ Gungets would you dare mess with China? That's suicide. @ Jasoneye now that's a plan right there,put the military to good use.

      Typersa - 2012-02-23 09:19

      Yeah comon boycot us!!! :) Will be great. The Government must start showing some interest, the flippin crooks!!!

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 09:40

      @Elle-Black. Why not. Why is it suicide. Economically the Chinese take more than they give. We have ready markets for all our resources, we choose the Chinese because they pay a premium, but all we are doing is outsourcing our human rights abuses. I might be a pimple on the elephants backside with my boycott, I don't care. At least I am doing something. And I still think the people proposing boycotts of SA goods are going to harm us more. Imagine 1000 out of work game rangers, with all that knowledge of our wildlife, forced to put that knowledge to use in poaching. Wonderful idea - way to save the rhino.

      Jacqui - 2012-02-23 09:54

      Gungets, what nonsense. It's the Govenrments task to talk to the Chinese and whatever Asian involved. We cannot go to China, but if you could, y take a banner along and I wish you the best of luck. Which victims are being victimise according to you, the local skelm poachers still waiting for trial?.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 10:44

      Jacqui - you make my point perfectly. The real criminals are just too tough to take on, so take on the South Africans. Answer me this - what are you going to do with 10000 out of work rangers and 100,000 out of work hospitality workers. One line will do.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-23 14:40

      Gungnuts - If our government has any between their legs then they should subsidise the parks during this protest, one line will do!

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 15:12

      Sean - forget it bud. Clearly this is over your head. We are the ones trying to conserve the rhino. The chinese and others are the onse creating the demand to kill them. Boycott the chinese, not South Africa. Boycotting South Africa is no different to locking me up because someone broke into my house.

  • Bluemast - 2012-02-23 00:22

    Thank you so much to all ye activists because in my previous statements on here is exactly what I suggested to the tee! I support this with all my heart and soul, just wish I knew about the petition - it definately would have had my signature on it!!! No more hunting/trading/posessing/importing/exporting of any rhino horn in any state/size/weight/form of jewelry/powder for or whole or part of anything whatsoever! ALL stockpiles to be destroyed by a certain cut-off with proof in the presence of a conservationist and certified by means of a national register. Anyone found to guilty of any of these and/or more actions should be fined with a minimum of R10 000 000million and/or life in jail - this should send the message out!!! I am fed up to hear of our prized wildlife taken from right under our noses and litteraly getting away with murder! Anyone found to be involved in any fraudulant activities in this regard should, in conjunction have all their possessions confiscated by the assets and forfeiture unit and sold and moneys received placed in a rhino trust fund which must be transparent to the public and audeted on a regular basis! I have contributed a lot of donations towards the conservation of our rhinos, but have no clue whose hands this money landed in.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 06:52

      And the 450 - 800 horns poached and smuggled every year - any ideas on stopping that, other than increasing poverty in SA and making it even easier to recruit poachers?

  • Sasmart - 2012-02-23 00:28

    Why wait 2 months? By then another 100 rhino will be slaughtered...

  • sdconradie - 2012-02-23 01:53

    I do not see how destroying stockpiles will cause poaching to stop? You sure are not going to convince a entire culture that it has no magical properties. Try convincing the western world that diamonds are basically worthless except when used in cutting tools. I've heard almost the proposed solutions but I feel that only two have any chance of saving our rhinos. The first I believe most people will agree with. Make the punishment for any rhino poaching/involvement/ illegal possession of rhino products much harsher. Most people caught spend maybe one night in jail and are the released after paying some small bail. The fines should be more than the horns are worth and jailtime exceeding 15 years. I'll probably get flamed for the second solution but hear me out. Legalize the trade on horns from existing stockpiles which come from rhinos that died of natural causes and even harvesting horns off live rhinos after darting them. Rhino horns grow back quite quickly. This will cause live rhinos to be worth more than dead ones, as is currently the case. Flooding the market with legal horns will cause black market prices to drop which will intern cut down the income from poaching. Currently the police, army and counter poaching teams are fighting a losing battle against extremely well funded poachers. Last I heard the price was R900,000/kg. Poaching syndicates have no trouble hiring willing hands from poor townships. Imagine being able to earn R30000 for 1 night's work when your poor?

      mario.dippenaar - 2012-02-23 02:12

      I agree, this proposed 'boycott' is nothing more than a kneejerk reaction. Also, why is South Africa being punished for other peoples crimes? Shouldn't this boycott rather target Eastern countries, I mean we're the victims here?

      carpejugulim - 2012-02-23 04:57

      I fully agree sdc, flood the market and bring the price of rhino horn down. Sadly there is a serious lack of education regarding sustainable animal husbandry here in SA.

      JasonEye - 2012-02-23 07:36

      @Derpyhooves, the reason the international community is up in arms is because the SA Government is doing nothing to halt the increasing poaching. Countries like Botswana used the military and gave them a shoot on sight order when their poaching got out of hand. People just want the SA Government to make an effort.

      Nigel - 2012-02-23 08:05

      agree, the consumers of the horn, china, vietnam et al...should be the ones that are boycotted, its like drug trafficking, the poachers are the mules & the gang leaders are rich & powerful sitting in some plush office in the far east. We need to get at them, shut them down.

      danalexsmith - 2012-02-23 09:58

      hey SD, I also thought making punishments harsher was the answer. after doing research, on other peoples research, it turns out no less people offended when states turned on and off the death penalty. the increased deterrent didn't deter. consequences aren't high up on criminals planning list.

      Peter - 2012-02-23 16:03

      Well said SD. That stupid cow calling for a boycott is out of her mind, and any one agreeing with her is as thick. The solution is to legalise trade in horn, and encourage farmers to breed more rhino as a sustainable industry.

  • Barefoot - 2012-02-23 02:03

    So putting soldiers at the Kruger National Park is not doing anything? have talks with Vietnam- isn't doing what they are asking. big syndicates you poor people to do the poaching by boycotting you are essentially increasing poverty hence more desperate people who may see poaching as salvation. activists have their place but sometimes they just love acting without reason. only 22000 signatures?

      Liana - 2012-02-23 08:23

      I don't think deploying soldiers is doing much of anything. Why not invest the money and address the weaknesses instead of getting more people to do what? Sleep in the bush? And besides, almost everyone has their price so easy to pay someone to keep quiet...

  • Ndipiwe Given Gobodo - 2012-02-23 02:09

    As much as we are hate the killing of our rhinos, threats by the so called international groups to boycott SAs products globally is an empty threat. Instead of our government directing the resources at hand providing security to all south africans, military has now turned into also policing rhinos which is not their job but are doing it for the love of their country. To the du Plesis of this world they must assist the government in curbing the rhino killings instead of being nuisance gathering worldwide points for their pockets. N.G. GOBODO

  • ferdinand.veer - 2012-02-23 04:16

    We should encourage South Africans and also foreign tourists to boycott the Kruger National Park. Rhinos are still slaughtered at the same rate and all we get is empty promises. We don't want promises, we want results.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 06:55

      Good one. Make the wildlife of South Africa completely worthless and stop conservation. That will work .... how exactly?

      Ed - 2012-02-23 08:25

      that is so shortsighted....dummy.

      sdconradie - 2012-02-23 08:55

      Do you have any idea how big KNP is? The rangers and counter poaching units are doing their best but the can't be everywhere at once.

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-02-23 05:16

    I don't know what to say about this other that the few things that run through my mind like hang the bastards in charge shoot the bastards doing the killing deport all the Chinese, Vietnamese and any body else who thinks rhino horn can help his limp dick. I still say poison the horns and flood the market you will see a different story when these bastards start dropping like fly's.

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-02-23 05:19

    I don't know what to say about this other that the few things that run through my mind like hang the bastards in charge shoot the bastards doing the killing deport all the Chinese, Vietnamese and any body else who thinks rhino horn can help his limp dick. I still say poison the horns and flood the market you will see a different story when these bastards start dropping like fly's.

  • Nickey Janse Van Rensburg - 2012-02-23 05:28

    Sell the stockpiles !!! Flood the market!!! demand will drop. simple economics

      Jacqui - 2012-02-23 10:01

      I have the same thought, sell the stockpiled horns, it will also benefit the elephants. I must also say I do agree, boycotting South Africa is fine, but all those countries participating in this awful trade should suffer the same punishment. Come to think of it, there is hardly a seahorse left because the Chinese eat them, how many other species are being threatened by these silly people?.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 10:46

      Jacqui - but my proposal for a consumer boycott of China is nonsense????

      Bluemast - 2012-02-23 14:45

      Nickey your comment makes no sense whatsoever - How long do you think this would last!?

      Rodney - 2012-02-24 03:37

      Big problem there, they can't burn the stockpile, much less sell it now, it's been sold a long time ago if the ANC antics are anything to go by.

  • Cheryl - 2012-02-23 06:03

    This is worthy news and needs urgent attention by the SA Govt as well as the international community, otherwise risk losing a heritage to pass on to your children as well as money from tourism. No rhinos - dont expect Americans, South Africans and other visitors to fork out money to visit game reserves and spend their money when 1 of the big 5 is missing! or only a handful are left. We need these animals, and they need us. Please get as many petitions to the SA Govt as well as informing international organisations overseas so as to bolster your influence on a Govt that seems blase about the whole subject.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 06:11

    I support the sentiment, but the boycott action is more like cutting off your nose to spoil your face. Why do we have Rhino horn stockpiles? Do those is authority want to make a quick buck on the sly? These horns should be destroyed immediately.

      Nickey - 2012-02-23 07:56

      No they should not. They need to sell them off at ridiculously low prices in order to flood the market. At this point in time, horn is worth more than gold, thus the the high prices makes it worth this risk to poach. They can pay for helicopters, shipping etc etc. But if you can get it LEGALLY for a VERY small price, then you flood the market, not making it worth the risk and finance to poach. Simple economics people.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 09:33

      Quite, Nickey. I considered this as well, but one cannot flood the market on a continuous basis. The best one can hope for is a temporary drop in prices. Supply/Demand will always find its "natural" level.

      Jacqui - 2012-02-23 10:02

      How would destrying the horn benefit the rhino and the elephant?. Selling is better.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 13:58

      Jacqui: Product availability keeps the market alive.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-23 14:11

      Nickey - how long do you think that will last???

  • Sean - 2012-02-23 06:14

    I don't understand why governments store illegal animal produce, e.g. elephant tusks and rhino horns. Aren't the poachers already prosecuted? Does any government then wish to make a future profit from the sale of these products? Why not just destroy it as soon as possible. I undertstand evidence has to be kept for a while, but having seen some files etc, who is able to link a particular tusk or rhino horm to an individual? I am refering to our 3rd world technology in Africa here. Africa's biggest grace is the diversity of its avian, mammal, reptile and flora life. Better than anywhere else in the world. The last vestiges of natural life, and we should preserve it. It has a huge economical income for this continent. Why can't that be respected and protected. I have no easy solution for this. Governments are corrupt and greedy and don't pay attention to what they perceive as a sideline. It is not oil, gold or diamonds, so why should they care. Enough said, this is a passionate topic for me.

  • patrick.macphail1 - 2012-02-23 06:20

    Wake up guys! Rhino horn has no real value except its rarity - don't make it even more valuable. Far better to set up an international rhino horn cartel (as de Beers did for diamonds)and trade rhino horn legally with profits to conservation.

      Bernadette Amir - 2012-02-23 07:01

      I agree

      Dean - 2012-02-23 11:10

      Well said Patrick!!

  • Wilma Crous - 2012-02-23 07:00

    Bring back proper border control.

      Graham - 2012-02-23 08:38

      Poachers originate from WITHIN SA boarders. You can meet the buyers everyday at OR Tambo with stamped passports...

  • Marion - 2012-02-23 07:19

    This is excellent news. HOWEVER, why only boycott SA goods? Boycott the goods from all the Asian countries that are doing nothing to stop the trade of rhino horn within their borders. Zap the end user countries 'cos without the end user there would be no market for rhino horn.

      Guy - 2012-02-23 07:46

      This is never going to happen because of our connections with China. remember the Dali Lami fiasco? South Africa will never do anything to upset the Chinese.

      Jessica Wright - 2012-02-23 07:50

      I agree! Why do we import almost all of our goods from asia when a) we do not support their exploitation of the environment, namely continued consumption of rhino horn, not to mention shark fin soup, lion bone and the whaling industry and B) we have such a high rate of unemployment; surely we should be producing our own clothing etc instead of importing it all?? Doesn't make any sense.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 08:19

      @Jessica - exactly. Guy - there is no point in waiting for government to sto pthe chinks, we need to do it ourselves. Just don't buy chinese. Don't go to their ridiculous China Malls, don't buy anything with "made in china" on the label. As long as you buy chinese you are directly increasing the wealth of the chinese, the same wealth that is increasing the demand for the rhino horn drugs. Just do it, and put pressure on everyone you know. The direct result will be, as Jessica points out, to increase employment and make it more difficult to recruit poachers. Unfortunately there is no easy way of knowing if it is made in china as the chinks have stopped labelling it. However, you do know, if a bar-code starts with 690 - 695, that the company is registered in China - that will do for a start. Then we need a list of companies that are buyers in china (stand up Mr Price!!), and boycott those.

  • Garth - 2012-02-23 08:04

    Do not support this boycott. This will only succeed in harming SA's poor. This will only succeed in making SA's poor more desperate. Boycott all Chinese, Vietnamese and Yemeni products(do the Yemeni produce anything other than oil?) Then, if you REALLY want to stop the death of our elephants and rhinos and all other exploitable species: STOP VOTING FOR THE USELESS, WORTHLESS, THIEVING ANC. They are the big time beneficiaries of this slaughter! Refute my statement, useless, worthless politicians.

  • Graham - 2012-02-23 08:07

    How is boycotting SA products going to effect change in this regard? There will be no reprieve for SA wildlife until agreements can be put in place with China etc. to lower prices through controlled trade. Marianne du Plessis, whose efforts are incredible, unfortunately forgets that with the Chinese market paying roughly $330'000 per horn (R2.55 million), activists will need government to spend more than that on defence and surveillance of each animal just to keep them alive here in SA. At this rate, the 448 Rhino poached for their horns in 2011 would have cost government over 1.1 billion rand, never mind protecting the entire SA population of rhino of around 18500 animals at a cost of 47 billion rand...... Legalise trade, its the only way for these animals to stand a chance. No matter the punishment imposed for trading in rhino horn, the price currently paid is, and always will be, worth the risk for poachers. We need to wise up people.

  • Johan - 2012-02-23 08:17

    We used to have a lethal electric fence between the Kruger Park and Mozambique Then some bright spark decided that animals should be allowed to move freely between the two countries and the fence was removed, alowing poachers to freely move accross the border. I say replace the fence!

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 08:39

      Johan - the fence is only down in small parts of the northern part of Kruger. The poachers are generally active in the South, close to Komatipoort (Crocodile Bridge, Sabie) and the west (Pretoriuskop, Malelane) - where most of the rhino in Kruger are. The poachers do not find the fence any obstacle at all. Also remember that 1/2 the paoching is not in Kruger or Hluhluwe, it is other smaller reserves and game farms. Dropping the fence has not changed a thing, not even the migration of the animals, very few of which actually moved from Kruger. Even elephant herds physically chased into the Moz side of the transfrontier park have returned. This is way more complicated than just the fence.

      Johan - 2012-02-23 08:44

      Thanx Gungets, you are much better informed than I am I therefore give you a thumbs up

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 09:16

      Johan - I was lucky enough to do the Lebombo eco-trail recently with a brilliant ranger by the name of Buks Meintjies. I think he knows every rock and tree in Kruger by name. It is all his knowledge that I am spouting. If you get the chance, do the trip - 5 days in the bush, sleeping in the open in Kruger, driving on 4x4 trails from Croc Bridge to Crooks Corner, so we saw for ourselves where the fence is down and where still up, and where the illegals cross (mainly along the power lines to and from Maputo - they follow then across the park at night - and it is also known as a lion corridor because more people get eaten than we know about)

  • Ed - 2012-02-23 08:24

    these people have good intentions. it is just a a pity that they are ill-informed and misplaced...burn chinese flags in china, throw paint on government buildings in vietnam or terrorise the middle-easterns who love their rhino-horn daggers! what is the point of blaming the country that who is doing its best to protect her rhinos from these vicoous scumbag chinese??? why is it that they protest against US, when many vietnamese embassy officials have been caught red-handed outside the embassy trading rhino horn??? get your facts right folks...we are not the bad ones, the chinese are.

  • alison.scheppel - 2012-02-23 08:31

    Great idea, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Mr Govt to talk to Mr China and to actually DO anything.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-24 03:25

      Yes you are right, Mr. China need rub-rub too...... ! So he in on it and won't even listen to us :(

  • Larry - 2012-02-23 08:41

    Ordinary South Africans do not poach Rhino's. And Boycott should be aimed at the ANC and Government only. We have enough problems on our plates.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-24 03:29

      Yea right what about the bunch caught a while ago like vets, game farmers etc. By the way wonder what happened to that case - all went too cold to my liking, hope to hear what has happened in that case!! They should not get away with what the have done and also abusingntheir statuses as vets etc.

  • Zee - 2012-02-23 08:47

    Let's all boikot ALL Chinese products. What amazes me is that our government wants us to buys proudly South African..... Well most of the products in our country are all made in China. These Eastern Countries are involved in all rhino killings. Our government is too involved with them to do anything about this. Wake up Mr President, they are taking you for a ride and you fall for it !!! Harsher (preferably death sentence) for all pouchers and buyers of rhino horn!!!

      Jacqui - 2012-02-23 10:08

      Yes, boycot Chinese products. I have been doing so for sometime. Not that my lonely effort will make any difference, but imagine if we all do it. The power of the masses speaks loud and clear.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-24 03:41

      As a rule if I see a sticker that says made in china I don't buy it anyway because all of their products are absolutely shtick and inferior quality! As Mr Trump said on a late night show - Alright he was referring to the US at the time but I share his sentiment here - why the hell are we not producing these items right here in SA - After all job creation is a big issue right now. I know they tried something about the textiles normal long ago, but not sure what happened to that case?? It also went cold! We don't need cheap sell-on-the-street-corner sh1t from China anyway. Donald Trump hates their guts and so do I ! Go Mr. Trump! Bocot them and stand for president and show them what you as as first world can do and we will follow suit through your leadership!

  • Brett - 2012-02-23 08:53

    Yes the government needs to take serious action against rhino poaching in South Africa...but why destroy the large stockpile of rhino horns? If all those horns are sold, in the correct manner (permits etc.), the money (which would be a huge amount)could be used to combat this escalating issue. The hundreds of millions made from selling those stockpiled rhino horns can be pumped back into conservation, especially the fight against rhino poaching! Instead of burning the valuable horns, the government and SAN Parks should consider taking advantage of the already dead rhinos. Put up new or better fencing along borders and reserve boundaries, employ more anti-poaching units, implement tracking devices and radar systems. How about taking better care of those people that dedicate their lives to protecting wilderness areas and all the wildlife in them...

  • Shining - 2012-02-23 09:32

    Millions of vegetarians have proven that boycotting products does not stop these products from being manufactured and consumed. Furthermore, boycotting (if it even works and if you generate enough dedication from the boycotters for enough time) products that have nothing to do with your cause seems a little ridiculous to me - what are you trying to prove? Threatening the government with trade boycotts is at best, ineffective and at worst, aggressive. Nobody wins from this action, least of all the rhino. Although I agree that government should be far more proactive in this crisis, I also feel that the only viable solution is one where everybody benefits and most of all, our rhino. Legalising trade in horn will offer competition to the smuggling rings; benefit conservation areas and all rhino breeders financially; benefit communities as soon as we learn to take advice from countries like Namibia, who have learned that community management of wildlife leads to massive boosts in wildlife numbers and massive decreases in poaching; and most of all, it will encourage people to breed more rhino. Rhino horn is sustainable and can be removed without harm to the animal. This is the ONLY solution that does not involve more rhino deaths.

  • Jacqui - 2012-02-23 09:51

    Great news, boycots work. Let it start soon.

  • Dean - 2012-02-23 09:52

    Gross ignorance!! Currently there is no trade in rhino horn, which is the direct result of increased poaching. The stock of rhino horn represents a huge financial value, which if exercised, would be able to fund the fight against poaching. One just has to read the following article in the M&G to see how cost cutting in the Kruger National Park has contributed to a spike in poaching in Kruger. Look how the burning of the stock pile of ivory in Kenya solved the elephant poaching problem!! Zero!! Protesting like a bunch of ignorant union members and burning effigies in front of government buildings is not going to solve the problem. Threatening to disrupt the already fragile national economy is both grossly irresponsible and unpatriotic. Where is their proposed solution to the problem? I do agree though that the government is dragging its heels in solving this problem and more priority should be given to the situation.

      Jacqui - 2012-02-23 10:11

      Isn't it some International agreement that stops governments from selling horn?. Fancy burning a stockpile of horn in one place where in a nother the animals are poached for that very horn. If I am right and there is such an agreement it needs to be wiped off the table as soon as possible.

      Gungets - 2012-02-23 10:51

      Jacqui - there are CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations that prevent it. If you want to bypass CITES you need to apply for permission which is seldom granted.

  • Erna - 2012-02-23 09:56

    Hello where have you been? South Africa DO NOT TRADE IN RHINO HORN. The horn is taken from DEAD rhinos that have been SLAUGHTERED by POACHERS!!! Rhino horn is a sustainable product. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KILL A RHINO TO GET IT'S HORN. The ONLY way to stop the poaching of rhino is TO TRADE IN RHINO HORN! O yes and NO BAIL FOR POACHERS.

      Dean - 2012-02-23 10:15

      Erna, there is NO formal legalised trade in rhino horn in South Africa today. Yes, I am well aware of the illegal "trade" though and the source being from poached rhinos. And yes, I know that rhino horn is a sustainable product that can be removed from the rhino and leave the rhino alive, just to have the rhino grow its horn back again. Did you know that up until Feb 2009, the was legal trade of rhino horn allowed in South Africa? Then on the 13th Feb 2009, the government banned the trade of rhino horn in SA and look what happened - 2009: 122; 2010:333; 2011:448 and 2012:God knows!! I am one person that doesn't just sit and share my factless opinions on public forums but have dedicated the last 3 months of my life to actively doing something. Go visit our Facebook page. Search for "Rhino Survival Trust"

  • tan.jade - 2012-02-23 10:00

    Why destroy the horns? Sell it to the asian market, flooding it and thereby reducing the demand and the need for poachers. Use the money for Rhino conservation.

  • maria.trautmann2 - 2012-02-23 12:21

    Where can I sign?

  • Bluemast - 2012-02-23 14:34

    Sean - You and I are on the same level I don't care how many thumbs-down I get!!! These people that want to see "legal trade" in rhino horn are probably already involved somehow and are afraid that they are going to loose their investment/partnership!

      Shining - 2012-02-23 16:28

      It may benefit you to do a little research (even if it's only Google) and see who exactly is pro-trade. You will find many esteemed conservationists that back it, as well as a host of communities and NGO's. Also take a look at what other developing nations have done to combat poaching in their countries (Namibia and South America are a good start) - it all comes down to sustainable natural resource management by the local communities. The sooner us South Africans can drop our arrogance and desire to be on the boxed-in and highly subjective "moral high ground" and actually learn from people who have already figured it out, the sooner we will save our wildlife. Do you really think all these people that are leaning towards trade in rhino horn have some 'investment' in the prospect? That would be an awful lot of people that have rhino. Which would mean an awful lot of rhino. The facts appear to differ drastically from your theories. Come on, dude. Apply logic. Do research. Don't throw random, false statements about. It makes you look ignorant. And quite frankly, if people who are breeding rhinos out there benefit from increasing their rhino numbers, good on them! They deserve to.

      Bluemast - 2012-02-24 03:51

      Trickster - you will soon swallow your words! Do anyone of you down-thumbers even know what lay in the stockpiles - Absolutely not!!!! How can promise the rest of the world what precisely is on the register, if there is any accurate one and if so how many may have already been fraudulently sold by insiders. Currently there is no proper control an there never will be because of people like you that just want to get rich overnight through slaughtering our big 5? Who is ignorant now you idiot!

  • nyamithi - 2012-02-23 21:14

    it's up to SA to take the lead cause it's happening in SA, put pressure on the SA government to change then they will have to put pressure on china - china is too big to boycott, you couldn't boycott their exports now - impossible, they make evrything. there is a lot the SA government can do in the courts, in parliament, in the reserves, and at the borders to confiscate horn. boycott SA just like in the bad old days of apartheid - look how that put the spotlight on SA from all over the world!

  • J.p. - 2012-02-24 07:31

    Are these people paid by the rhino poaching syndicates to block any form of legal trade in rhino horn to keep the prices up? They come with threats but no solutions.Sell the legal stockpiles and force the price down. It will at least buy time to find proper solutions.

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