Tag Archives: rhino horn

Legalising Rhino Horn

Will lifting the trade ban reduce poaching?

I love surprises. So when someone suggested that I research the subject of legalising the trade in rhino horn I leapt at it. I could see that the issue was ripe for some Edward de Bono-type thinking.

In Africa the black rhino is considered critically endangered and the white variety is listed as near threatened by the International Union of Nature Conservation. Black or white, population numbers are fragile. The primary cause of this situation is the continuous slaughter of rhinos by humans.

Some good out-of-the-box thinking could serve rhino well, I thought. Surely all it needs is some imagination and rational pragmatism.

The number one reason behind the killing is the demand for rhino horn in the East where it is used in muti of the Chinese kind. And so the fundamental question around the trade in rhino horn can be expanded to all geographical regions where traditional healers are faced with a dwindling supply of ingredients: at what point do we reconcile traditional values with modern reality? It is a question that requires deep introspection.

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