Just a week after poachers entered an orphanage in South Africa and killed two baby rhinoceroses for their small horns, the country made the decision to legalize the horns trade. You can sign this online petition to stop it!
This decision was made since John Hume, owner of two rhinos farms with approximately one thousand copies, sued the government and won.
A rhino horn is worth more than its weight in gold. The horn is made of keratin, which is the same material as the nails of humans. But groups of organized hunters benefit from their profits thanks to the illegal trafficking of rhinoceros keratin.
The trade takes on more boom in the border with Asia because the oriental medicine assures that the horn of the rhino can cure everything, from a hangover to cancer.
Hume says the only way to keep his rhino farm safe is to sell his horns. The trade in rhinoceros horns has been totally banned since 1977 because of the high demand that was driving the animals to extinction. Now that there is no such legislation, any trader in South Africa can sell the same product. What a horror!
Those who disagree with the lifting of the ban say that criminals will be able to get even more rhinoceros horns than before.
“Legalizing the domestic trade of rhinoceros horns in South Africa opens the door for extra horn exports,” says Susie Watts of the WildAid Africa program. “There is no domestic demand for products here and, as the pro-sale lobby knows the reason perfectly, the moratorium has been implemented to prevent local trade because it was used as a cover for illegal trafficking.”
In 2016, about 1,100 rhinos were killed in South Africa, which is home to 70% of the world’s population. The previous year the figures were worse, 1,175 rhinos were killed.
By day, three rhinoceroses are killed for their horns in South Africa. And the numbers show that there are only 29,500 left in the world.
“There is no realistic way to maintain a chain of custody over rhinoceros horns and prevent them from being trafficked abroad,” says Watts. “There should be no legal market for horns or poachers, illegal traffic and demand are out of control.
To help end the hunt, you can sign this petition so that products of endangered species can not be consumed.