IFAW slams plans for rhino horn auction

IFAW slams plans for rhino horn auction
Monday, 26 June, 2017
Cape Town, South Africa

IFAW has rejected as shortsighted and potentially dangerous, plans by South Africa’s biggest rhino breeder to sell part of his rhino horn stockpile – 500 kgs of horn – in a legal global online auction in August 2017.

“Any trade in rhino horn or any other endangered wildlife products at risk of entering illegal markets places the conservation of species at threat,” said Neil Greenwood, IFAW Southern Africa region head of Programme and Operations.

“There is no evidence to prove stockpile sales have any positive impact in preventing poaching, in fact to the contrary they are fueled by economic greed and place a greater burden on enforcement and conservation agencies who are already battling to contain the poaching war against rhino in South Africa.

“While this sale may be legal, it could well play into the hands of the criminal syndicates who are known to exploit any loophole for gain. We would appeal to rhino breeders to think again before proceeding with his auction,” said Greenwood.

A recent moratorium on domestic sales of horn within South Africa makes it possible for the sale, as long as the horn remains in South Africa. John Hume, who is thought to own as many as 1,500 rhinoceros, has made it a condition of the sale that the horns will have to remain in South Africa until global trade is unbanned, alternatively until foreign buyers are granted import and export permits from South Africa and their home countries. The online sale will make it possible for any buyer including those from China, Vietnam and other nations most implicated in the illegal poaching and trade of rhino to purchase the horns.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com

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