South Africa Considers Rhino Farming, Horn-Trading on Bourse (1)

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South Africa, which hosts about 90 percent of the world’s rhinoceros population, should consider lifting a domestic ban on trade in the animals’ horns, authorizing commercial farming and trading the horn on the Johannesburg bourse, a Department of Environmental Affairs report showed.

The steps were proposed as part of an effort to halt poaching that is threatening eventual extinction for the animals. At least 514 out of a national population, that stood at 20,711 in 2010, have been poached this year, the department said in the report, which was released by e-mail today. Most of rest of the global population is spread across sub-Saharan Africa with the next biggest concentration being in Namibia.

“Some viewed the lifting of the ban on trade in rhino horn as the panacea that would end poaching and save the rhino from otherwise inevitable extinction,” the department said, referring to consultation on the measures. “This view was supported by market theorists who argued that in a market where rhino horn could be traded freely, market forces would automatically drive horn prices down, obviating the need for syndicates to face risks associated with poaching.”

A similar argument has been mounted about elephant ivory with Southern African nations including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana advocating legal trade in the product while Kenya and other countries oppose it.

South Africa should “consider opening a rhino horn trading bourse possibly linked to the JSE,” the department said, referring to Africa’s biggest stock and bond exchange.

Horn Stockpiles

The surge in poaching comes even after the government deployed the army in the Kruger National Park, its biggest protected wildlife area, and has stepped up arrests of poachers. They target South Africa for the horns, which sell for more than gold by weight in Asia where they are believed to cure cancer and boost sexual prowess.

The government department also recommends asking for permission for auctions this year of rhino-horn stockpiles to help pay for anti-poaching initiatives, and to upgrade South Africa’s border with Mozambique along Kruger National Park.

Wildlife Trafficking

Czech Republic authorities seized 24 white-rhino horns and arrested 16 people yesterday in connection with wildlife trafficking, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The gang posed as hunters and then applied for export-import trophies that allowed them to export the horns as personal mementos, the group said in a statement today.

“Illegal trade alone is nudging rhinos to extinction,” Kelvin Alie, director of IFAW’s Wildlife Crime and Consumer Aware Programme, said in the statement. “Only international cooperation between law enforcement authorities will end illegal wildlife trafficking.”

Most rhinos, which weigh as much as 4.5 metric tons, are killed in the Kruger National Park, an area nearly as big as Israel that borders Mozambique, with a porous border that is easily crossed by poachers wielding assault rifles. Mozambique is the world’s 20th poorest nation, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“We remain unconvinced that legal international trade in rhino horn is a feasible approach for rhino conservation,” Jo Shaw, WWF South Africa Rhino Programme Coordinator, said in an e-mailed statement. “Uncertainty about how legal trade may in turn influence demand adds to the challenging complexity of the proposition.”

News Link:http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-24/south-africa-considers-rhino-farming-horn-trading-on-bourse-1

Related Link Stop Rhino Poaching:-http://www.stoprhinopoaching.com/

Pink Poison, the Surprising New Trend That’s Saving Rhinos

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“This is a great idea, I hope those that use the horn of any dead rhino suffer appalling reactions & suffer greatly; its’ nothing less than they deserve. If there stupid enough to use rhino horn instead of chewing their own fingernails, I have no sympathy. But, I’m not that happy either, that this pink potion has already killed test subjects; especially a rhino at an event to promote the cocktail. If inadequate studies have been performed to test this cocktail, should it go on, how many more rhino will die through testing; will several dying, justify saving the lives of those that are left? Or is there an easier option to save the rhino?”

“I’m for anything that stops the rhino poachers, dealers & resellers; but not at the cost of losing the  lives of an already declining species. If only there was a way to stop poaching, without putting the rhino’s life at risk; to simply catch & use anaesthetics are high risk factors that could end in death, irrelevant of what is going to be implanted into the horn!”

“So think how much it costs in terms of drugs, anesthetics, vets, helicopters, spotters, darts, dart guns, man power etc. to implant something into the horn of one rhino? A rhino, who could die from the anaesthetic or stress of capture: but the process is being done to hopefully stop it being killed by poachers!. Then think of those that go out & poach said species…Why do they do it? Well I’m pretty sure it’s not because they hate the rhino species, they do it for money only, perhaps it’s easy money, which is the attraction; especially when your family are constantly hungry etc.”

” So perhaps the simplest, least cost-effective idea, is being totally overlooked!! Consider the cost of all the above, to one rangers wages & it’s obvious which is the cheaper & most cost-effective way of saving the rhino; more manpower on the ground…but why just rangers already trained up!”!

“What about the poachers? they risk their lives for such a small percentage in wages; so why not turn it around? They only poach for money, so perhaps they could be convinced to fight for the other side, i.e. protecting the rhino & being paid to do so; instead of being paid to kill the rhino! They are already savvy in the knowledge of rhino tracking etc. because they have worked out how & when is the easiest time to kill without being caught. Of course those in charge would have to be diligent, as newly employed protectors of rhino, could easily still work for the poaching kings, on an undercover basis! Inside knowledge could just as easily kill rhino; if done the right way. One just has to think of a way of making poachers protect; instead of kill!

“Perhaps if the government implemented an incentive, to suggest that all rhino poachers who come forward of their own free will, will not be charged for past regressions (otherwise they won’t come; even though I would be so tempted to slap them in chains!) but will be taken on & trained as a special task force, to be paid to save the rhino rather than kill. At the end of the day, it all comes down to money! Rhino potions can not be sold in shops, without those that poach the rhino horn! To stop poaching, one has to think of those at the bottom of the pile, those that do the poaching; because without them, there will be no rhino horn. So give them an incentive to stop, a uniform, a regular weekly income, less risk of being killed by rangers etc. & there might just be a better chance to stop this trade…there is no harm in trying, right??”

Rhino experts discuss a bright approach to keeping poachers away. Please note the following picture has been digitally altered!

This photo has been digitally altered and is not an actual photo of a rhino at Sabi Sand. (Photo: Heinrich van den Berg/Getty)

This photo has been digitally altered and is not an actual photo of a rhino at Sabi Sand. (Photo: Heinrich van den Berg/Getty)

With over 200 rhinos already dead this year at the hands of poachers in South Africa and no signs of the slaughter slowing, some innovative rhinoceros lovers are stepping up their game.

Wildlife workers at Sabi Sand, a private game reserve at the southernmost tip of Kruger National Park, have injected a special cocktail into 100 rhino horns, turning them pink in an effort to deter illegal horn hunters.

In addition to discoloring the horn, the pink dye can also be detected by airport scanners, even when the horn is ground into a powder to make the high-priced traditional “medicines” that help fuel the killing of rhinos. The hope is to make transport of the illegal product that much riskier.

And that’s not all. There’s poison in the pink

The indelible pink dye is mixed with parasiticides, usually used to control ticks. Though it’s not meant to kill unscrupulous poachers and consumers who ingest the powder, it does have some pretty nasty side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ironically, these are some of the symptoms which rhino horn is incorrectly believed to alleviate. (Rhino horns contain nothing more than the same keratin found in fingernails.)

This comes at a time when the demand for traditional “medicines” is growing, says Tom Milliken, Rhino Program coordinator with Traffic, a leading wildlife trade-monitoring network. He says, “There is a whole new market that advertises rhino horn as a successful cancer treatment. It’s being marketed in hospitals to the families of the critically ill. In addition, it has also become a trendy hangover remedy.”

Dr. Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, has concerns about the ethical implications of intentionally poisoning something that may well be ingested, but hopes the project will draw attention to the dire situation.

“If this strategy discourages even one person from buying horn, I think it’s marvelous,” she says.

Milliken also understands the urgency to save every rhino possible, but isn’t sold on this technique. “I’m not sure I fully buy the notion that this dye cocktail has been adequately tested and certified to be non-harmful to rhinos,” he says. “The process of anesthetizing living rhinos to inject the cocktail is time consuming and entails risks; we know of rhinos in the private sector that have died in the process, including one at an event to specifically showcase this particular dye technique.

News Link:-http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/04/10/pink-poison-rhino-horn-stop-ivory-trade?cmpid=tpanimals-eml-2013-4-12-pinkhorn

South Africa To Use Aircraft Against Rhino Poachers

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South Africa is to deploy a reconnaissance airplane to combat a massive rise in rhino poaching.

The plane will be equipped with surveillance equipment including thermal imaging to detect poachers.

It will patrol over the Kruger National Park, a vast reserve that borders Mozambique and home to two-thirds of South Africa’s rhino population.

So far this year 588 rhinos have been killed in South Africa, in what is being called a “relentless onslaught”.

That figure has risen from just 13 reported cases in 2007 as organised and well-armed crime syndicates target the animals.

South Africa is home to the world’s largest rhino population – an estimated 18,000 white rhinos and 1,700 critically endangered black rhino.

The rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, even though there is no scientific proof of its effects. It sells for around $95,000 (£60,000) per kilo, almost twice the value of gold.

Rhino poaching in South Africarhino (1)

  • 2007: 13 reported cases
  • 2008: 83 reported cases
  • 2009: 122 reported cases
  • 2010: 333 reported cases
  • 2011: 448 reported cases
  • 2012: 588 reported cases – to 4 Dec

Source: Traffic, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network

The director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Jason Bell, said: “The killing of rhinos for their horns does not exist in a vacuum, but is a complex problem where values of tradition and culture have been corrupted in the name of commercial exploitation.”

“Be it elephants and ivory, tigers and tiger parts, rhinos and rhino horn, the endpoint is the same – profit. And that profit is being chased down in the most brutal fashion by organised crime syndicates.”

So far this year, South Africa has already armed some of its park rangers and deployed dog patrols to try and stop the poachers.

The surveillance airplane for the Kruger National Park was donated by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, whose chairman Ivor Ichikowitz said: “You have to fight fire with fire.

“This thermal imaging technology will deliver more powerful observation capability to the Kruger National Park’s rangers, making it difficult for poachers to hide.”

News Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20592820

Say no to legalising trade in rhino horn – Please sign petition

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Why this is important

The pro-trade lobby has tried to justify rhino horntrade in economic terms. These justifications are based on flawed & dangerous assumptions and often proposed by those with a vested financial interest in trade.Legalizing trade will prevent poaching – On the contrary, legalizing trade has the potential to increase poaching to unsustainable levels by increasing demand and potentially even raising prices which will see a decline in rhinoceros populations. At face value, legalizing trade could bring much needed funding to South African National Parks and reserves. Notwithstanding the real risks and unintended consequences it would be morally reprehensible, highly irregular and irresponsible to promote trade at anytime into the foreseeable future before other more sustainable sources of revenue are thoroughly investigated.

Demand will remain stable – Advocates of legalized trade predict that free trade will increase supply to such an extent that prices will drop. This prediction relies on a dangerous assumption that demand will not grow significantly in the future and that there is enough horn to satisfy demand. When illegal markets are legalized, new consumers enter the market thereby increasing demand, possibly even raising prices. The incentive to cease illegal trade fails when prices rise. The truth is, demand data is inaccurate or unknown, and arguments about lowering prices by increasingly supply only hold true if demand is predictable.

All trade will be legal – Advocates of trade suggest that legal rhino horn sold through a Centralized Selling Organization (CSO) will eradicate illegal trade on the black market. However, restrictions on market participants and the quantities sold will drive those excluded from legal horn trade underground. The black market will not be subject to any taxes and /or levies and will thus enjoy greater profitability. The notion that legalizing trade will eliminate illegal trade displays an ignorance of how organized crime works and is naïve at best.

On this basis alone any formal consideration of legalized trade is misguided, dangerous and could lead to increased demand and, ultimately, the extinction of the rhinoceros in the wild.

We call on the government of South Africa to take the precautionary route and reject any changes to the current annotations as set out in CITES Appendix II relating to the SA population of white rhino and not permit ANY commercial trade in rhino horn.

World’s Rhino Conservationists Gather in China to Call for an End to Illegal Rhino Horn Trade

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Wildlife experts and conservationists from China, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom, including representatives from Humane Society International/UK, gathered in Beijing today to call for urgent action from China to help save the world’s rhinos from poaching. Hundreds of rhinos are poached for their horns every year largely to supply the Asian traditional medicine market.

The Rhinos In Crisis conference, organized by Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association with the support of Humane Society International, is one of the largest gatherings of international rhino conservationists ever held within China. Their message to China: Rhinos are being poached out of existence, and Chinese consumers’ demand for rhino horn must end. 

“Rhino poaching has reached a crisis point with animals being brutally slaughtered in huge numbers to supply horn for the Asian medicine trade. It’s vital that China takes urgent action to eradicate consumer and business demand for horn which has no scientifically established medicinal benefit whatsoever,” said Mark Jones, executive director of HSI/UK. “China is a crucial partner in the global battle to save this endangered and iconic animal from extinction. If it doesn’t act now, this species is unlikely to survive the crisis. That would be tragedy for the whole world.”

Rhino poaching has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2007 there was a global average of 12 poaching incidents reported annually. By 2011 in South Africa alone, 448 rhinos were killed for their horn and predictions are that around 600 rhinos will have been killed by the end of 2012. There are now fewer than 30,000 rhinos in Africa and Asia combined and four of the five surviving rhino species are listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List as threatened with extinction.  

“We know that Chinese people care about animals too, and we’re desperately hoping that by communicating to them the impact that rhino horn consumption is having on our precious rhino, they will respond quickly and with compassion, as they have often done before,” said Karen Trendler, co-ordinator of the Rhino Response Strategy in South

Read full news:-http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/06/rhino_horn_trade_060712.html

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