Say No to Rhino Horn Trade
South Africa, home to Africa’s largest population of the majestic rhino, is proposing to legalize its rhino horn trade. In 2016, a rhino was poached every 8 hours in South Africa to fuel the growing demand for horn, which can fetch as much as US $30,000 per pound.
Despite having been scientifically disproved, rhino horn is coveted as a medicinal cure-all and status symbol in Asian countries causing thousands of rhinos to die each year to fuel the bloody trade. Now is the time to protect them, not aid in their downfall.
The government of South Africa has issued a proposal to legalize the domestic trade and export of rhino horn for personal purposes. This would severely damage already plummeting rhino populations and strengthen the epidemic of poaching in the nation, encouraging horn to enter the market and driving up its price.
Recent events such as the extraordinary poaching of rhino at a French zoo show that rhino are still under heavy threat of poaching and protection must be tightened - not relaxed – without exception.
AWF’s stance is clear: legalizing any rhino trade would be sending mixed messages to the marketplace at a time when a single, unambiguous message needs to be communicated to the millions — perhaps billions — of existing and potential consumers of this product. Rhino horn trade should be illegal, and each single horn comes at the cost of an irreplaceable rhino life.
Pushing a new law to trade in rhino horn would complicate efforts to prosecute illegal activity by creating a veneer of legality behind which illegal activities would persist and divisive at a time when unity is needed to tackle the poaching crisis.
Sign the pledge urging the South African legislature to say no to rhino horn trade and ensure that rhino are protected into perpetuity.
Add your name to AWF’s petition.