Michael Lorentz

To trade or not to trade..

292 posts in this topic

Here is an article about horn infusion.

 

http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global%5B_id%5D=118884

 

 

 

Ferreira said that scientists and others had tended to keep quiet on the matter because of the “benefit of the bluff” but, he added “the bluff is fading now”.
One of the originators of the infusion method, Lorinda Hern, said that coming out against the method was “counter intuitive — it’s actually putting treated rhinos at risk. It’s regrettable. We are trying to keep rhinos alive.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dikdik's direct quote: "It is no surprise that you rant on about hunting, as it has shown to be very successful in gaining donor interest, ..." That is incorrect and offensive and I believe intended to undermine. As such he is obnoxious and arrogant, and also clearly ignorant. I am not sure what his agenda is to defame and carry on like that. What is clear is that we differ.

 

I also object to personality cults in conservation. Actually, save for politicians, you do not see it in other development sectors like education, economic development and healthcare where "heroes" are cultivated through storytelling. Where does this come from? The minute you question their position you are somehow errant. It is a bizarre and curious conservation aberration.

 

Re: Sam Ferreira article on horn infusions: This was on live horn! I never suggested you poison live horn, that clearly has a risk of affecting the animal. I am not even sure how it was infused and what chemicals were used. One method and one chemical failing on live animals by no means rubbishes poisoning stockpiled horns, which is what i suggested.

 

Horn is a keratin substance, as such it is a biological material that surely can have poison integrated (through infusion/impregnation/soaked etc).

 

Trophy hunting is a psychological pathology. Period. It is bizarre that conservation of life can be built on the modus operandi of trade off the joy/thrill of killing. Its is psychologically deviant to get such a thrill. That this is affecting natural selection and wildlife populations is plainly obvious.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Landmark Foundation I would love to believe that we both have the rhinos interests at heart. Its just that I am prepared to entertain alternatives that you will never consider.

 

Do you realise that there is a good chance that you are wrong? Are you prepared to bet your life on it? better still, are you prepared to gamble the rhinos existence on your opinion? I don't see the harm in trying something different, we have pretty much tried everything else.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Trophy hunting is a psychological pathology. Period. It is bizarre that conservation of life can be built on the modus operandi of trade off the joy/thrill of killing. Its is psychologically deviant to get such a thrill. That this is affecting natural selection and wildlife populations is plainly obvious.

You are pointing a very big finger there. I will guess that included a few million South Africans and many more million people across the world, and include 10 000 game farms and farmers who hold 2 thirds of the total land under conservation. In fact the finger extends to National parks as well who allow hunting in some areas.... Thats a lot of psychopaths.... Off with their heads!!!

 

Then you have a problem when someone hints that NGO's gain good publicity and funds from the anti-hunitng rhetoric!!!

 

Lets be fair!! if you can call millions of people psychopaths, then .....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so let's have no more talk about hunting/anti hunting in this topic which is about the legalization of rhino horn trade. Yes, we disagree with each other on Safaritalk but it is the manner in which we disagree which sets us apart from the bombastic rhetoric of other social media platforms. Let us discuss the issue in question and not each other.

 

Let's agree on that...

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone on this siteis passionate about wildlife and protecting it.We hold different opinions and we may well strongly disagree,but if we want to convince others, bad manners ain't going to do it! Let us continue assuming we all want to protect rhino, and nobody has all the answers.It is however perfectly proper to start from a moral or ethical standpoint,and find arguments to support that view,as long as one is willing to have the arguments tested.

Indeed to a large extent the question of what are we willing to do to protect rhino, or any wildlife, has to have a moral or ethical dimension.

So, loosening live horns? In English law, and I suspect South African law, it would lead to a charge of at least conspiracy to murder.I vote no to that!

De- horning? In some areas it has worked combined with effective anti-poaching, but it can we stressful,needs to be done every 12-24months and can lead to killing for revenge ( zimbawe has tried this )

Farming.I agree with free range farming for food(although ii couldn't eat a whole rhino) but not for products.Leaving aside if it could ever be profitable, any legal trade opens the door to more illegal poaching,unless it is policed in a way that would be more watertight then any other animal trade,and needs to be backed by vigerous anti poachingMy own view is that it is wrong as well to use some captive rhinos to protect other wild rhinos.I would be a tad miffed if I was a captive rhino!

Having read all the passionate posts, I still think that finding the funds for better protection, and shouting to the world about what is happening,as well as education is the rhinos best chance.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

......... I think Landmark was proposing that there be an explicit warning on the horn - saying that it contains poison................

 

 

I don't really understand how this would stand a cats-chance-in hell of working.....if people are willing to commit unspeakable acts of cruelty to take horns from rhino, I really don't think any sort of labelling / propaganda claiming (falsely) that the horn is poisoned is going to stop them killing rhino and selling their horns for a moment.

 

I fully accept that the battle to stop rhino poaching is failing, and that free thinking and radical solutions should be considered. If someone could explain to me how this might work, I would be most grateful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had also assumed that Landmark was talking about poisoning stockpiles of horn, so that Ferreira article on live horn infusion and poisoning does not appear to be relevant to this particular idea.

 

What am I missing in this scenario? If all the rhino range states were to collectively poison their horn stockpiles and legalize the sale of these poisoned horns, flooding the market with tainted horn along with an explicit warning stating that all horn henceforth will contain poison, whether ingested orally or nasally etc. then why would this not reduce demand? And if they were to somehow imprint all live rhino horns with some sort of indelible marking or tagging that is exactly the same as the markings/tagging on the stockpiles flooding the market, thereby rendering the live, wild rhino horn indistinguishable from these stockpiles, then would that not eventually reduce live horn consumption?

 

Yes, there is the wet horn and dry horn issue but how will this approach hurt anything? This ploy may not shut the trade down, but at this point, any diminution in demand can only be a good thing. And what use are those stockpiles anyway, unless the owners, whether private or public, want to make money off them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

......... I think Landmark was proposing that there be an explicit warning on the horn - saying that it contains poison................

 

I don't really understand how this would stand a cats-chance-in hell of working.....if people are willing to commit unspeakable acts of cruelty to take horns from rhino, I really don't think any sort of labelling / propaganda claiming (falsely) that the horn is poisoned is going to stop them killing rhino and selling their horns for a moment.

 

I fully accept that the battle to stop rhino poaching is failing, and that free thinking and radical solutions should be considered. If someone could explain to me how this might work, I would be most grateful!

Not a false claim, @@Whyone? The horn would actually be poisoned in a way that it could kill the eventual user. I am not talking about propaganda and false labeling at all. But in order to give these end users a chance, it would contain an explicit warning -just like warnings on many poisonous and hazardous substances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @@Safaridude. As always your posts are measured and well balanced.

 

I guess that you would have to put me under that same category as reluctantly pro-trade as well.

@ but you do trade in wild life for a living? I am not saying what you do is right or wrong and trading buffaloes is different for me than trading rhinos but you are not reluctantly pro-trade because you already do that for a living. This is my issue with your posts that why are you guising them in the name of conservation alone when you are able to have a one on one conversation on how much your buffaloes will be worth in 7 years. How can you say you are reluctantly pro-trade? Have you wowed to support rhino horn trade but never make a single penny out of it?

 

Also there has been atleast a couple of instances when we ( definitely I and atleast one other member) have explained to you in such detail the issues with Kenya and how irresponsible it is for someone of your stature to say " Kenya lost 80% of its wildlife because of hunting" and you have acknowledged those reasons and then in the very next thread and for the next 20 you have again gone back to the same quote. How are we supposed to have a discussion and progress if you keep providing careless remarks like this?

 

I agree there is no need to name call and there is no need to bring a wider discussion on hunting into this ( and trust me there are hunting operations that have my deepest respect but equally the majority of them donning the conservation hat sickens me because it belittles the real effort required to be a hunter-conservationist) but I dont think rhino hunting is beyond the scope of this thread.

 

Anything can be sustainably harvested. Anything can be sustainably hunted. The question is does that really happen more than 1 out of 10 times or even less. Harvesting Zebras is very different from harvesting rhinos with the kind of demand for their parts. So what does the legal trade do:

 

1.) Tells China and Vietnam and Thailand ( and by association Philippines where ivory consumption is huge ) that instead of bringing you to task for flouting every CITES -from tiger parts to bears for its bile to rhino horn, here is the reward.

 

2.) You have the market ready but where is the channel that the hundreds of millions of dollars that SanParks will make from the rhino horn pile it is sitting on ( no @ it is not a neutral party) will go back into conserving wild rhinos. Where is the blue print of how much money will be ploughed back and what will be the target bounce back in wild population

 

3.) Where is the commitment that with the numbers you are talking about ( billions of dollars), individuals will not be the biggest beneficiary?

 

4.) Where is the proof that low income people will still not poach wild rhinos- Even if a poor poacher gets 10% of the value of just one horn, its his annual income versus the big shots who are raking in hundreds of millions

 

5.) Where is the proof that not one more wild rhino would be sold to a private collector and you would freeze the supply from the wild into these harvesters' collection. When in South Africa to circumvent current canned hunting laws, people rewild canned lions for a mere 30 minutes before shooting it, how will you ensure that all kinds of corrupt practices dont mushroom out of this legislation.

 

6.) What do you estimate the demand to be and how would even justify that 20k rhinos can meet the demand that your action of legalizing would create

 

7.) How would you tell us that there wont be any hoarding and false market fixing to artificially keep the price up and hence maintain a pressure on wild rhinos when your target market China and Vietnam have been officially doing this anyway and now even the sellers would have the incentive to artificially fix prices

 

8.) What would happen to the population of black rhinos given most of the harvested rhinos are white? What would happen to the wild population in other countries- in Kenya, in India?

 

9.) What impact would this have on ivory poaching and tiger poaching

 

I think throwing list of names on which there is limited public info ( how do I know for example that John Hume is not holding a rhino fund for many investors? and he is the legal front while there are many many vested investors?) or research paper in a world where they are published every day is a moot point. If you really want to discuss trade , then discuss the economics and the impact or admit that what South Africa wants is a one time monetisation and feels (falsely) confident that any adverse impact can be immediately reversed as long as people sitting on all that horn and waiting and waiting for so long can capitalise immediately. After all Private Equity like to harvest in years of investment and the time has now come for that.

 

There are two ways of handling this issue. You can say Oh we cannot make rhino horn worthless, so lets legalise the trade. This is wrong in my opinion from a cause and effect point of view- even yesterday's newspaper has some economic worth. The other is to conclusively prove that legal trade will stop the poaching and how it will positively impact wild population- you cannot do that because when anyone tries to do that they assume China and Vietnam would behave in a certain way and that the African nations would remain corruption free and that they would still need to implement law and order- all these assumptions are wrong right now in the current situation and will remain wrong even after legalising the trade.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anita … well said and to the point. Your economic and financial background stand you in excellent stead when cutting through the passion and rhetoric and vitriol.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 

Thanks @@Safaridude. As always your posts are measured and well balanced.

 

I guess that you would have to put me under that same category as reluctantly pro-trade as well.

@ but you do trade in wild life for a living? I am not saying what you do is right or wrong and trading buffaloes is different for me than trading rhinos but you are not reluctantly pro-trade because you already do that for a living. This is my issue with your posts that why are you guising them in the name of conservation alone when you are able to have a one on one conversation on how much your buffaloes will be worth in 7 years. How can you say you are reluctantly pro-trade? Have you wowed to support rhino horn trade but never make a single penny out of it?

 

Let me clear this up. I owned a factory that manufactured goods for the FMCG which I have sold and am now retired. During my good fortune in my business, I pursued my interest and passion for wildlife by buying a game farm. I learned some valuable lessons while trying to run the farm and the business. There was no way the game farm would float itself, and was a continual drain. Yes, I did try eco-tourism, and did offer hunting to try and reduce the running loss. When the opportunity came to retire, there was no way that I could support the farm as well, and consequently sold it. Yes, I did consider breeding buffalo and even Rhino, and worked on that idea for a few years. I decided that such an investment would be foolhardy, and opted to rather buy into a share block in Limpopo Lipadi out of interest in wildlife. Apart from promising myself to do as much travelling as possible, I have decided to offer my time and energy to some genuine conservation organisations. I have learned to stay away from the emotionally biased ones and become increasingly untrusting of the number of new NGO's that have sprung up, who splash the media with horrid pictures of dead animals to help lead their supporters to empty their pockets. There is another trend with many of these new NGO's (apart from rejecting sustainable use) they seem to climb on the band wagon when it comes to iconic species, and show little regard for the importance of the smaller creatures who depend on habitat.

 

So, No - I do not trade in wildlife for a living, although I don't have an issue with people who do.

No, I do not stand to make a single penny out of rhino trade. Although I don't begrudge people who do.

No, I do not earn any income from wildlife at all. Although I tried and failed. As a result I can say that I have never made money out of wildlife.

 

I have been following the rhino issue for a number of years, and for some time, I sat on the fence. I consulted with a number of experts and veterans in the wildlife industry to begin to understand the problem better. I have seen first hand how sustainable utilisation works, and it has been extremely successful. Saving Africa's wildlife and wilderness, biodiversity or habitat is all about money. Whether it be generated from eco-tourisim, donor funding or consumptive use or Government coffers, it doesn't matter to me. We need more people to see the value in protecting wildlife and habitat and encourage them to generate a living from it. So I am not predisposed to any ideals and open to many options, as long as wildlife, wins at the end of the day.

 

Now lets get back to the topic.

Edited by dikdik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ most of my post is on topic and awaits your comments as well as it would be very interesting to understand which experts of the target markets and which economic experts opined on demographics demand and supply and where is that plan of adequate infrastructure to make the assumptions around a success in legal trade possible?

 

The NGOs might or might not be distracting but let's not use them to justify the pro trade argument. I really am very interested in hearing your views on my points above - maybe a one by one answer to each of them will give us a glimpse of what convinced you from a fence sitter? And also which experts and are they just extrapolating all wildlife trade as having the same effect?

 

Regarding your buffaloes plan apologies if you didn't go ahead with it but a couple of years back it sounded like you already did but it could have been I didn't hear you properly.

 

It's not a question of begrudging people their income - it's a question of changing international legislation on one pretext when the underlying driver is a different reason altogether and affects and clouds decision making.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Anita hi,

 

I will get to reply to that. Many economists have been consulted - most notably the people who set up the de Beers diamond plan. They claim that there are vast similarities between their method and the rhino horn.

 

These people have considered all the aspects of your argument and have no bias - only looking at new ways to give the rhinos some slack. It is clear that anti-poaching costs a fortune, and judging by the budget speech yesterday, where not a word was said about conservation, there is concern that they have more pressing issues. The people I have consulted know Africa and understand the nitty gritty stuff including corruption and incompetences in government level as well as a healthy understanding of the poor people who are drawn into poaching. I can assure you that they have factored in all the issues and concerns that many people have and have investigated alternative options. This is why I trust them. Although it would be great to rely on ethical issues to save the planet or even just the rhinos, the implications of the ethical route failing are disastrous for the rhino.

 

No-one is claiming that poaching will stop, but the situation can be reversed. There is every reason, that with the extra revenue, protection can be afforded for the rhino and a way can be forged for horn to reach the market with out having to kill rhinos. There is no way that we will have any control of the market as long as it remains illegal.

 

There is no way you will stop the market. There is no way you will make the horn worthless. The horn has a value whether it be legal or illegal. When talking about ethics - one should also consider the death count of poachers and soldiers alike. Its time to be pragmatic and entertain something that may not suit your moral ideals, but that may be the best chance that the rhino has for survival. It is clear that something new and innovative needs to be tried.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@, i very much respect your opinions and your contribution even if i don tagree with you on that topic. But previously on this forum, you mentioned if i remember correctly that you partly own rhinos or have invested in a rhino breeding farm. Without being disrespectful, for me that could explain some biais. Maybe your decision to get involved was a consequence of your beliefs but to some people, if i can say it makes you look less "neutral".

 

Personally I believe that demand could be reversed, Europe for instance was the biggest buyer of Ivory 100years ago. I don t think that much ivory is now sold to European customers. China is changing, it will take time but China tomorrow will be a much better place for conservation than the China that we know today. There is a new generation that is much more open to the world than the previous one.

Edited by Dam2810
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At post 55 I made the request to talk about the issue of trade legalisation and not each other. Since that post, @@Anita and @@Dam2810 you have talked about @. So, if we can't get back on topic, I'll lock this thread.

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt you can lock this thread but can you explain why it is without foundation? Isn't it fair to know what someone's allegiance is? Both Dam2810 and I have been polite about it.

 

I think if you are going to force an extremely thin line of discussion, it won't help and I definitely cannot participate with so many restrictions and regulations. Instead if you want a real discussion and facts and not just sweeping statements, you will have to allow us within reason to question certain things. Else we can all keep reading again and again about how Kenya lost 80% of it's wildlife and why noone should question 'experts' because they have thought of everything ( even though there had not been one factual answer to the questions raised). This is not the first time I have asked questions from Dikdik but this can definitely be the last time. I don't think ST readers should just read sweeping statements but know real facts but if you disagree, absolutely upto you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

ok gamewarden but i believe that when you have a debate, it s part of the equation. I don t expect John Hume to tell us that rhino horn trade will not succeed. And on the other side someone like landmark is probably a vegetarian who believes that every single hunter should rot in hell. Knowing if people have some biais or financial interests (either the SA rhinos owners or some dodgy NGOs) is important

Edited by Dam2810

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I believe that to drive debate of course it's fine to question people why they have their line of thought, why they are taking the stance that they do: as long as by doing so we don't make prior assumptions, whether we see that person as anti or pro trade - it's not my intention to stop any kind of discussion and you've both made good points in your posts. It is my concern that this topic will focus on members, rather than the actual issue of trade itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@@Dam2810

I think it is helpful in discussion to know where people are coming from.

We all have a bias, even if we dont think so or reognise it

There is a danger of projecting our view of bias also

"And on the other side someone like landmark is probably a vegetarian who believes that every single hunter should rot in hell"

I know nothing about him other than posts fom him on here using very unpleasant aggressive language.

But it is a big step to assume he is a vegetarian (a term of abuse here? - there are hundreds of million vegetarians in the world) and that vegetarians believe all hunters should rot in hell (most vegetarians don't believe in hell as a concept).

 

I read threads like this so that I can hear different points of view. I don't usually contribute because I am ignorant.

I am biased - western, developed world, well off in world terms, vegetarian (almost), zoology and psychology degree. Emotionally I am against non-food hunting and against much of wildlife trade. However I know my emotions might not be correct or offer the best solution. So I read to consider both sides of the discussion. Personally, I do not find that abuse of other contributers enlightens me very much

Edited by TonyQ
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@TonyQ, I did not want to offend vegetarians ;-). Reading the comments of landmark who consider hunters as psychopaths or anyone benefiting from wildlife consumption, i did that extrapolation. Apologies for that

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing strange by the way this debate is polarised into two camps and nothing new about the tendency of these debates to be split by stereotypes. I don't think it should be ignored, I think its essential to understand the mechanics of who you are talking to as there is often another agenda. This is why I have put my faith in the opinions of respected wildlife veterans with experience, intellectual background in understanding the way things actually work. These are the people who don't earn decent salaries, and have worked selflessly for the greater good of the environment. Its not as if these people just jumped to this conclusion overnight, there is no doubt that they have done their homework.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Many economists have been consulted - most notably the people who set up the de Beers diamond plan. They claim that there are vast similarities between their method and the rhino horn.

 

- That the supply can be carefully monitored and reigned in to keep an artificially high price of diamonds?

 

-That the value is falsely created through big advertising budgets into being a symbol of love and forever-ness?

 

-That illegal mined supplies are bought by the largest producer/cartel so it keeps price high?

 

I completely agree all this can be done by the rhino farmers- they have the wherewithal, they have the reach , the network, the clout and maybe even a tap into the poaching syndicates. But thats not conservation - thats business and exactly the opposite of what the farmers are claiming they would do with the price ( that is bring it down to make it worthless). This will escalate poaching to levels never seen before for the simple reason that the illegal syndicate has even a bigger means ( as it is involved in a number of illegal activites), that the ground level poacher or the psudo-hunter will not need much to make him/her happy, and that terrorism will still continue to be needed to finance with these activities.

 

 

I think we are completely confusing two things- the ability to farm animals and being responsible for those actions. Of course there is nothing wrong in farming animals- even if it leads to life expectancy reduction from 25 years to 5 years for bears, even if it leads to 3000 wild tigers from 8000 while 6000 are being farmed today. China and Vietnam's track record is so appalling that anyone who for a minute not only provides them the legal okay for this but also the moral nod that there is actually some worth in that horn - is shocking to me- How can that possibly be conservation.

 

Anyway @ I dont mean anything personal at all. You are the loudest and surest voice on pro-trade on ST and maybe unfairly bearing the brunt of it but since you have claimed a lot of experts and a lot of knowledge, I really would be interested in those facts.

 

 

There is no way you will stop the market.

 

There is no way you will make the horn worthless. The horn has a value whether it be legal or illegal

 

 

 

How do you make rhino horn valueless?

You can't.

 

 

 

This is what makes me cynical about intent @ - exactly like you told to Landmark Foundations, anybody with the right intent in their minds, should be open to doubt but you are not open to doubt about being able to change the demand- even if many experts from within WWF to people like Joyce Poole to EVN to people within China and Vietnam have more conviction than you. That rhino horn consumption was totally stopped in Japan,in Taiwan, in Korea and in Yemen through campaigns and strict government control. Anyone who is neutral, would acknowledge that this should be the real goal and that no other time before had anyone even given this option any chance.

 

And has your analysis given thought to the impact of legal trade on Asian Rhinos?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It wasn't so long ago that we were also blaming the Yemeni demand for rhino horn although that demand seems to have died somewhat.

 

This is not a market anymore- The campaign was so strict and Yemen banned domestic trade in rhino horn along with the CITES ban and the campaigns even clearly stated that by killing a horn you went against the will of god. I guess the message got through. It was easier in Japan as it was OTC manufactured drug and there was really just one player but Taiwan and Korea are not that dissimilar culturally to China - China is a big problem because of the number of people but just this month there was a news item that shark fin shipment from Hong Kong to the mainland fell by 90%. It is definitely possible to break the back of the camel.

 

I should post some of the campaigns from EVN- 2 years back I made a post on them here on ST and at that time they were small and nobody knew them but they have been making big strides.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anita … well said and to the point. Your economic and financial background stand you in excellent stead when cutting through the passion and rhetoric and vitriol.

 

Hear hear - Anita you really have summed it up perfectly, thank you.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.