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To trade or not to trade..

rhino elephant trade ivory horn poaching

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#41 Game Warden

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 02:48 PM

We don't need to name call in a discussion: there's plenty of that in social media, on ST I expect discussions to be well mannered - it does not imply we have to agree with one another's viewpoints of course but antagonistic posts only detract from the debate.

 

Let's leave talk of hunting out of the discussion as it only dilutes what is the focus of the issue, whether trade in rhino horn should be legalised.

 

Now, should we dismiss the experience and expertise of wildlife managers and conservationists because their work was conducted a number of years back? 


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#42 Safaridude

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:05 PM

Offside penalty!



#43 Paolo

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:06 PM

We don't need to name call in a discussion: there's plenty of that in social media, on ST I expect discussions to be well mannered - it does not imply we have to agree with one another's viewpoints of course but antagonistic posts only detract from the debate.

 

 

Well said @Game Warden

 

 

Let's leave talk of hunting out of the discussion as it only dilutes what is the focus of the issue, whether trade in rhino horn should be legalised.

 

 

 

Agrred again. These are two entirely different matters and people can have different views. For instance, I am not in favour of rhino horn trade (even if I have not investigated the issue as deeply as I should), whilst I believe that - in certain circumstances and provided it is well managed - trophy hunting can definitely have conservation value (I will not repeat my positions on the why and the when, which should be known to many and would be entirely off topic here).



#44 Dam2810

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:14 PM

you are not helping the cause of your NGO and to some extent to other NGO that are doing a great job fighting against a potential trade in rhino horn by reacting that way.


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“Africa’s human and natural resources have been pillaged and plundered for generations by people from far off lands. From slavery to archaeological artifacts, minerals, fauna and flora, the continent and its people have for so long been victims of other continents’ selfish interests, and today it is continuing…our elephant ivory and rhino horn are going to countries where they are used for God knows what! Only to satisfy ridiculous outdated beliefs whilst we remain with carcasses, as proof we once owned these magnificent animals.” President Khama


#45 Landmark Foundation

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:17 PM

Gosh, it always surprises me when people like dikdik can cast aspersions but when you counter it there are howls of protest. Our statements stand 100%. Why the silence on dikdik comments - clearly you endorse them. 



#46 Safaridude

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:41 PM

Firstly, recall that I am not pro-trade.  I am not anti-trade either.  What I am is tortured.

 

Putting the hunting issue aside and focusing just on rhino...  I don't see why the idea of farming rhino (and not endangering them) to address a crisis is in any way close to "psycho-pathology".

 

Even on Landmark Foundation's website, it is clear that the organization embraces ecotourism as a way of giving value to the land and conservation of it.  Is that exploitation as well?  The mere farming of rhino to address a crisis, or the mere idea of it, I see it as no different, really.  But let's remember again, I am not pro-trade.

 

I believe Dik-dik has the right to be heard without being pilloried.

 

I think the difference is essentially this:  Dik-dik is essentially saying that the other side doesn't get it.  You are essentially saying the other side is a bunch of psychopaths. 

 

Let's keep it onside.


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#47 Sangeeta

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:35 PM

I would actually like to hear a lot more about the possibility or impossibility of poisoning horn, if both sides would not mind telling us more about that. I jumped on the idea of legalizing poisoned horn because it truly sounds like a clever idea. It may be, as twaffle says, that traditional medicine is only a small part of the consumers - but surely even the status seekers of Vietnam and China would hesitate to snort poison?

Does Landmark's horn poisoning proposal have any basis in research? And Dikdik, can you please point us to any research that shows that this is not feasible? Thanks for both your input.

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#48 Whyone?

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:49 PM

Whilst I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever with anyone involved in the trade of rhino horn, and if poisoning a few end users is what it takes to save the rhino, I would have no problem with this. However, it is my distinct feeling (ie guess!) that the obstacles - legal, logistical and ethical - which would have to be overcome to implement an effective programme to poison rhino horn would be enormous.

This is the problem with fighting on the side of 'right' - you have to do everything by the book.

Edited by Whyone?, 18 June 2014 - 04:50 PM.


#49 Sangeeta

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:20 PM

@Whyone? - I think Landmark was proposing that there be an explicit warning on the horn - saying that it contains poison. I would think that might take care of the ethical problems at least. Legal problems, I don't know - you may have a point there.

 

@Landmark Foundation - dikdik is a long-standing and well respected member of this community. I disagree with him on rhino horn trading and on other issues such as hunting as well, but many of us here know him personally and we know that he cares as much about these issues as any of the rest of us. It doesn't help the cause to leap to conclusions about members - especially based on what we have not said.


Edited by Sangeeta, 18 June 2014 - 05:27 PM.

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#50 Safaridude

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:31 PM

 - especially based on what we have not said.

 

A very important point.



#51 Bugs

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:33 PM

Here is an article about horn infusion. 

 

http://www.witness.c...bal[_id]=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.”

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#52 Landmark Foundation

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:00 PM

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.   


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#53 Bugs

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:03 PM

@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. 


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#54 Bugs

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:57 PM

 

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 .....


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#55 Game Warden

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:15 PM

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...


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#56 Towlersonsafari

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:53 PM

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.
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#57 Whyone?

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:17 PM

......... 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!



#58 Sangeeta

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:33 PM

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.

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#59 Sangeeta

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:38 PM

......... 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.

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#60 Anita

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:11 AM

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. 

 @dikdik 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 @dikdik 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.


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