Game Warden

Visiting John Hume's Rhino Breeding Operation, South Africa.

111 posts in this topic

@ - I have quoted many sources but we can agree to disagree ;)

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@, even if we disagree, i respect your opinion and always appreciate your arguments

 

@Miss Hume, given your current position and the role your husband is playing for the pro trade side, I expected you to come with some decent arguments to justify the trade in rhino horns. But you seem to be obsessed with NGOs and care more about attacking those NGOs (which again I am not part of) than justifying your conservation goal. I can understand your frustration, some of those organisations are benefiting from the current crisis and are not helping the rhinos on the ground but saying that they created the current poaching crisis is going too far. You seem to believe that anyone against the pro trade is a member of a NGO or even worse that people opposing the trade are responsible of the current poaching crisis. Today I am against the trade of rhino horns simply because I believe it would make things worse for wild rhinos (not talking about the domestic ones) and as said before, i dont support any NGO or make any donation. Maybe one day some people will convince me that trading rhino horn is the way to go to save this iconic species (someone like dikdik alwyas gives me some food for thought) but today the more I read your arguments/comments Ms Hume, the less credible you are to me and the less I become likely to change my mind on the pro/against trade debate especially since I believe you represent your huband, the biggest private owner of rhinos in SA. If you want to convince the public opinion, you should raise yourself above those few NGOs attacking your actions and show us with decent arguments/scientific surveys/studies that trade in rhino horns will indeed save wild rhinos.

 

@Panthera Pardus, it s great to have on this fórum someone who knows so well this topic

Edited by Dam2810
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@ - I have quoted many sources but we can agree to disagree ;)

 

No problem - I have no problem with people having an opinion that differs from mine at all. I can see that you have done your homework and have contacts. I have also done a substantial amount of homework, and met with a number of people to discuss this issue. I have also made a point of getting involved, and I must say that when it comes to whether or not to legalise the trade, I do have faith that the right people have been consulted and South Africa will make the right decision.

 

Another book I suggest you read apart from Ian Players biography is a book by Clive walker called Rhino Keepers. In the mean time take a look at the attachments.

 

Reply to Witney..pdf

Reply to McCullum.pdf

times.pdf

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@, at the end of the day we want the same thing. Rhinos saved from extinction. I have read the book but will look at the other docs.

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At the risk of sounding like a simpleton - IF a legal trade in rhino horn is allowed, how will it be possible to differentiate between legal and illegally obtained rhino horn?

 

If, as everyone says rhino horn is nothing more than keratin, and is used in powder form, how can you prove its legal provenance?

With the value being so high, and forgers being able to reproduce just about anything, forging a certificate would be no obstacle.

And, there will still be a market - a growing market - of people who will buy from wherever they can get it.

 

It is a good question.

 

It is clear that making the trade illegal has not stopped people. There will always be a criminal element that will try and get involved. No-one is ignorant enough to assume that legal trade will stop poaching outright. What is will do is provide a legal alternative through which the demand cam be met. By doing so the funds will allow for better protection of the rhino, and SAN Parks will also benefit by being able to sell stockpiles and use the funds for anti-poaching.

 

Also once the buyers have been established there is a way to follow the products.

 

 

Isn't that a bit like saying we should legalise heroin or handguns because those who want it/them can already buy from illegal sources already?

 

My concern is not to find ways to meet the demand for rhino horn but to try and find a way to end the poaching.

Unless a legal trade in rhino horn can actually save rhinos, what is it achieving apart from creating an environment where it is lucrative to raise more rhinos in captivity?

 

Or are we looking to a future where the days of the rhino as a free wild animal are ended and rhinos have become another farm animal, to be raised for harvesting?

 

Like you @ I would like to believe that South Africa has gathered all the relevant information and will come to an informed and reasoned judgement. Whichever way the decision goes there will be those that are unhappy.

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You will never end poaching. You can control it. Controlling it costs money, and donor funds aren't sustainable, and protection costs are climbing. There are masses of NGO's pulling in donations - but that money is falling way short. Donors will soon get bored and funds will dry up further.

 

As Pelham Jones says - the only way we will save rhinos is if they are worth more alive than they are dead.

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The demand is so vast at the moment, that legalizing the trade will not decrease the price very much. The majority of rhinos in South Africa are still found in National Parks, thus their horn is not trade-able.

Because of the high demand, and the low supply (legal or illegal) the price will remain high and thus the incentive to poach will remain high.

 

There is no intention to "flood" the market - its a sustained controlled supply, and its well within South Africas ability to meet the demand.

 

 

If the demand would be met, the price wouldn't be sky-rocket high. Legalizing the trade would confuse the market, making it easier for the traders in illegal horn to profit from their 'business' and get away unpunished (even more so than now).

The ivory poaching took off again, after legal trade options were allowed, rhino horn trade profited from the same trade channels and the rhino poaching took off again too.

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The way I see it SANParks/Natal parks sold Rhinos to Private Owners. SANParks have sold 1500 rhinos between 2000 and 2013 and note that the spike in poaching only started in 2008 - see article below from the ZA Sunday Times of 31 August 2014

 

10635986_793133077406161_692901089832045

 

 

 

 

Rhinos were doing very well, thank you very much, and these buyers bought rhinos as a business venture. Some private owners sold rhinos for hunts and pseudo hunts, some had the horns cut for stockpiles. They saw rhinos as a pile of money. Well business conditions changed - this argument is made here

 

Anti Traders are accused of doing so for financial reasons as they profit from poaching and living on blood money. I read somewhere, can't remember now exactly where it was, but this is like saying cops like criminals because without criminals there would be no need for cops.

 

I am ineterested in saving our rhinos in the wild and controlling the poaching of rhinos in our National and Provincial Parks. The rhino in the room, so to speak, is the stockpile sitting with SANParks. Let me show why I think so:

 

I believe the way forward is ecotourism with community involvement. I believe the Peace Parks is a great concept and the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park can be one of the prime wilderness areas in the world. It was the vision of Madiba, one of the three founding patrons of the Peace Parks - @@Sharifa (my better half for those who do not know and also an ex Honorary Ranger) wrote this to the SANParks Board on 18 March 2014. No reply to date let alone an acknowledgement of receipt.

 

Now the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) do a lot of Good Work. Just yesterday they posted on their site an Update to the Rhino protection program You will see that one of their strategies is devaluation of rhino horn.

 

 

The three main devaluation techniques being investigated and tested include:

  • The use of tracking technology through the placement of tracking devices on rhino. Ezemvelo has made significant progress with investigations into the use of tracking technology and has identified various rhino reserves that may benefit from the use of tracking technology to manage the welfare and security of vulnerable rhino populations. Due to the sensitive nature of the project no further details can be divulged;
  • The option of stimulating the controlled irradiation of rhino horns and thus create a detectable “radioactive” signature tag on rhino horn; and
  • The chemical alteration of rhino horn, which investigates means to alter the internal colour, taste or smell of rhino horn through the use of approved chemical substances that will inhibit consumption

 

Now the PPF got huge donations from Holland and Sweden to work on these strategies. See this Article from "The Star" newspaper of 25 August 2014 and you be the judge. I quote from the article

 

 

An independent review of the paper by chemist and forensic scientist Dr Hein Strauss concluded that he would have expected some scientific evidence to corroborate a visual inspection.

“This one-sided critique of horn infusion appears to be driven by those with a protrade agenda… We have been told directly by SANParks that ‘poisoning’ horns could tarnish the reputation of South African rhino horn in the mind of end consumers,” their critique said.

RRP said the Kruger National Park indicated last year that it was opposed to the concept of horn devaluation.

 

On the 03 June 2013, Ike Phaahla, Media Specialist SANParks had this to say about devaluation by infusion from here

 

 

South Africa National Parks has backed the initiative but spokesman Ike Phaahla admitted that it would be 'virtually impossible' to apply the process to all the rhinos in national parks because of lack of resources.

 

This is what Sharifa asked him on 19 March 2014. His answer is on the same page - you be the judge.

 

 

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And about the corruption.. Lets say that we need to build a school or a hospital.... The need to build this is clear cut and definite. Now we know that there may be some corruption in the tender and some corrupt builder. Does that mean that we should can the idea of building a school or hospital?

 

We wasted a total of ZAR33 Billion lat year. How much the year before that, and the year before that? Here

 

How many schools could we have built, or hospitals, or delivered on services, or created jobs. Is it any wonder we have service delivery protests every other day?

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@@Panthera Pardus - thank you for all the facts you have brought to this discussion. It is not fun to compile these grim facts and graphic images, so I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that your research is much appreciated. As is @ and his research, though we disagree on this issue :)

 

I thought I had heard the last of 'if you're not with us, you're against us' argument during the Iraq war. But it seems not. It is also unfortunate that we have to argue absurd conspiracy theories on this thread.

 

Frankly, the more I read about all this, the more I smell money and business. Perhaps there are passionate wildlife lovers who genuinely believe this is the way forward, but for the most part, I smell greed and exploitation.

 

I still can't understand why extinction is considered to be such a bad thing when the alternative for rhino is either to be killed by all sorts of horrible weapons (either by hunters or poachers) or forced to live on farms, producing an endless succession of calves and getting de-horned to supply a fraudulent theory, and eventually ending up on the hunting block anyway, when they become 'non productive' so to say.

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When you say you are against legal trade, where rhino would stay alive, I can only understand it that you are against conditions where rhino would stay alive!

This really is ridiculous hyperbole which seems to demonstrates you are not willing to listen to another point of view and have no respect for the other posters in this forum who have politely put their thoughts forward. Accusing people that don't agree with you of being part of a corrupt NGO and talking down to them isn't exactly the way to win friends and influence people. I respect your point of view and do not question the sincerely of your motives and you need extend the same courtesy to the other posters on this board.

 

Sincerely,

 

Paul Toomey - Boston Ma. USA

- Not a member of or affiliated in anyway with an NGO

- Loves Rhinos

- Believes legalized trade in horn will destigmatize its use and result in increased consumption.

- Believes that there can never be enough legalized horn to satisfy demand in Asia so legalization will result in more (not less poaching)

Edited by PT123
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I agree with @@Bugs (formerly known as Dikdik) that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with making a profit, nor with doing something to make money. That is a prime objective of any business.

 

But let's call a spade a spade here... many advocates of the pro-trade position are rhino farmers. That is not the same as a conservationist.

Protecting your own herd of animals (a herd in which you have invested a lot of money) does not make you a conservationist either; a farmer or shepherd does the same; they are simply safe guarding their livlihood.

 

And whilst I have no problem at all with people who want to farm rhinos why can't they just be up-front about it and say they are rhino farmers who are farming rhino as other people might farm cattle, sheep or springbok because they see that they can make money from it?

Edited by Soukous
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I started the thread reading GW's profile of John Hume, and felt his empathy towards John Hume. and, admittedly, was affected by it. As GW described the place, I felt that the rhinos were safe and contented in the farm, and that Hume felt for the plight of the rhinos.

 

But Mrs Hume's responses have almost completely undermined that sentiment. I was bewildered by her sweeping accusations against NGOs of spreading strange illogical rumours. and when challenged by some, she has yet to substantiate her allegations. I was stunned when she said she didn't care what rhino horn buyers buy them for - others have made good arguments against her statement. But she has the gall to challenge everyone to declare their affinity to NGOs, to which many have responded readily. I'm still waiting for Mrs Hume to back up her allegations, but instead she took flight after more bewildering statements.

 

I have to admit I don't know much about NGOs, and that is one core idea of joining forums such as ST - to learn as much as I can on wildlife, conservation, different perspectives to wildlife and eco-system preservation, and the human-wildlife interactions. It has taught me a lot of things, and it has taught me to keep an open mind as there are always different perspectives to wildlife protection.

 

saving rhinos is on everyone's agenda, except for the poachers and those who profit from the illegal trade. There is nothing wrong to support legal trade, and nothing illegal to have a rhino farm and push for legal trade. But there is something fundamentally very sad if someone says they care not a drop about whether they sell false hopes to saving lives, as long as they can make money out of it, even by legal means.

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Can I ask that you read this attachment. It may help.

 

http://perc.org/sites/default/files/Saving%20African%20Rhinos%20final.pdf

 

It explains how historically rhino was rescued, and how South Africa once only had a small percentage of Africas Black rhino and now has 75% of Africa black rhino and 90% of the white rhino. It is a series of policy making successes and has been learned over a number of years.

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@@Bugs thank you for the link. I shall have a good read of it.

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But let's call a spade a spade here... many advocates of the pro-trade position are rhino farmers. That is not the same as a conservationist.

 

That is not totally correct. Yes private rhino owners know what is best to save their rhinos and yes most of them are taking a pro-trade stance.

 

However, the specialist conservationists who have a life full of experience and backed by solid science are also in favour of pro-trade. In fact the Government and SAN Parks have good scientists who are pro-trade.

 

If there is to be a generalisation to be made, many people who are against trade are actually not as involved in conservation at all.

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South Africa has a proof of how 5 years of banning national legal trade in rhino horn from privately owned rhinos has cost a life to 3200 rhinos, most of which are from national parks. How much more evidence do we need to realize that banning legal trade in rhino horn has only created conditions for illegal trade, which results in rhino poaching?

I do not care what for rhino horn is used BECAUSE rhino horn is not harmful to people but it cost a rhino life, under current law! We are responsible for our own choices, and rhinos also should have a choice.

While legaly harvested horn, where rhinos stay alive, lies in the secure places not allowed to be traded- we continue loosing rhino lives every single day and this is a tragedy I have faced from own experience. Trade does not kill the rhino, it's the way it gets supplied. Only Illegal trade kills rhinos. Legal trade can supply horn where rhinos stay alive!

I care for saving rhino life not rhino horn. Horn grows back.

http://youtu.be/T8QWqWQnvdQ

Edited by Albina Hume
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However, the specialist conservationists who have a life full of experience and backed by solid science are also in favour of pro-trade. In fact the Government and SAN Parks have good scientists who are pro-trade.

 

 

@@Bugs, let us examine this claim further. What is a good scientist? I am a scientist. I work on a HIV/AIDS project which I have been doing for the past 9 years. Therefore I must be doing my job well - I am good at my job. Now what if I become an AIDS denilaist, will this make me a bad scientist? There are many good scientists that refute the popular view on HIV/AIDS including a Nobel Laureate. Google Kary Mullis and Peter Duesberg. Mullis won a nobel prize for the PCR technique, a technique that can be used to identify DNA segments. Duesberg isolated the first cancer gene. Both don't support the popular view on HIV/AIDS.

 

For any research we have to ask ourselves:

  • Who is paying for the reserach
  • Who pays the researchers salary
  • Who benefits from the research
  • Is the paper peer reviewed

I quote Kary Mullis

 

Mullis has said that the never-ending quest for more grants and staying with established dogmas has hurt science.He believes that "Science is being practiced by people who are dependent on being paid for what they are going to find out," not for what they actually produce.

 

 

Was Galileo Galilei a good scientist in his life time?

 

What about Professor Tim Noakes? He has gone completely against the convential view when it comes to diets?

 

Does rhino horn cure cancer, does it reduce fever? Is there any science to support this? Yet sceintists do support pro trade. Are these good scientists?

 

Let us look at the lates controversy SANParks have got itself into - Here

 

Is it good science to make a conclusion on the visual inspection of one sample? Science 101 says that for a observation to be valid we must have as large a sample size as possible and have some confidence limits for our result. These scientists were going to publish an articel, that is not peer reviewed, in a scientific journal but have not done so because it has leaked. Did they want to dress a view they have as science?

 

Oh, @@Sharifa asked SANParks some questions on science on 15 Aprin 2014 - she is still waiting for a reply. Look Here

 

 

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For any research we have to ask ourselves:

  • Who is paying for the reserach
  • Who pays the researchers salary
  • Who benefits from the research
  • Is the paper peer reviewed

 

 

Too true. And I am fully aware of that.

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But let's call a spade a spade here... many advocates of the pro-trade position are rhino farmers. That is not the same as a conservationist.

 

That is not totally correct. Yes private rhino owners know what is best to save their rhinos and yes most of them are taking a pro-trade stance.

 

However, the specialist conservationists who have a life full of experience and backed by solid science are also in favour of pro-trade. In fact the Government and SAN Parks have good scientists who are pro-trade.

 

If there is to be a generalisation to be made, many people who are against trade are actually not as involved in conservation at all.

 

 

This whole argument/debate does seem to be going around in ever decreasing circles.

 

I read the link you provided with interest @@Bugs.

Michael 'T Sas-Rolfes does put forward a well reasoned position for legalising the trade in rhino horn - on economic grounds. - Basically we need to make it more attractive financially to keep rhinos alive than kill them, and this can only be achieved by legalising the trade.

 

A substantial part of the argument against legalising the trade is that it will enable poachers and others to sell illegally acquired rhino horn. Is there perhaps a case to be made for regarding this as a seperate issue?

 

Clearly whatever is being done right now to try and safeguard rhinos is not working. If our priority is to save the rhino can we have a legal trade and use the money that generates to fund an intensified fight against poaching?

 

Legalising the trade in rhino horn will not automatically stop poaching, but will it make it worse?

 

We can spend time apportioning blame for the current crisis and labelling rhino farmers like John Hume as people who are lobbying purely for their own financial gain, but is that helping save rhinos?

 

i don't know the answer but I do know that we need to do something soon or the whole debate will be academic.

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Horn grows back.

 

@@Albina Hume no one disputes this but obviously it can only re-grow if the rhino is still alive, yes rhinos do not have to die for their horns to be harvested but they will continue to do so if the trade is legalised. Suggesting that rhinos will live if the ban is lifted is misleading, yours will but other rhinos will still be poached, what we need is real evidence that fewer rhinos (everywhere and not just privately owned South African ones) will be killed than at present. Then we can judge whether or not your way is the answer, and no I don't represeent any NGOs.

 

@@Kitsafari “Saving rhinos is on everyone’s agenda” perhaps, but saving rhinos from what extinction or exploitation?

 

As illustrated by @@Sangeeta post animal rights campaigners seem to be far more concerned with the latter than the former.

 

I still can't understand why extinction is considered to be such a bad thing when the alternative for rhino is either to be killed by all sorts of horrible weapons (either by hunters or poachers) or forced to live on farms, producing an endless succession of calves and getting de-horned to supply a fraudulent theory, and eventually ending up on the hunting block anyway, when they become 'non productive' so to say.

 

Yes rhino farmers want their rhinos to produce as many calves as they can but then so do the managers of conservancies like Ol Pejeta or Lewa in Kenya, a rhino cow on a farm cannot really produce anymore calves than a wild or semi-wild one. They can’t be bred like dairy cows or pigs I can only imagine Sangeeta that you dislike livestock farming and have some warped vision of rhinos being factory farmed in awful conditions like some pigs are which (in my view) just simply isn’t possible. Although I’m sure there may be some people in China hoping to find a way thanks to South Africa’s short –sighted decision to sell white rhinos to China.

 

You worry about rhinos being forced to live on farms but judging by the photos at the beginning of this thread what’s wrong with rhinos living on farms it looks to me like they have pretty good lives and so what if their horns are periodically cut off it doesn't do them any harm. So I ask what is so bad about rhinos being on farms that you would rather they were extinct, gone forever.

 

Leaving aside the issue of hunting I don’t see anything especially cruel or wrong with farming rhinos and that’s the problem and that’s why as I’ve said in another thread people pursuing an animal rights anti sustainable use agenda are not at all helpful to this debate. If the trade is legalised it is not what may or may not happen to rhinos on farms, it’s what it will do to rhinos in the wild that matters. I don’t expect Sangeeta or others who campaign for animal rights to change their views on how animals are treated but expressing concern about the future welfare of rhinos being farmed for their horns or about the trophy hunting of a handful of rhinos will not help win the argument against legalising the trade. An argument that we have to win if we want rhinos to be able to live outside of heavily fortified farms and reserves. To win this argument we have to prove that the pro-trade arguments are wrong, to prove that opening the trade will make the situation for rhinos far worse not better. We need to focus on the consumer end of the trade and show that legalisation will lead to an increase in demand which simply cannot be met by legal sources of horn and will not be supplied by solely legal sources of horn.

 

I am not any kind of expert I’m just a layman with an interest in saving rhinos from extinction so I can only say what I believe is the case regarding the horn trade based on what I’ve read recently from those experts who have investigated the trade.

 

Legalising the trade risks increasing demand substantially, Pelham Jones’s assertion that it will in fact reduce demand that some people will no longer buy it once it’s legal is just not believable. People in Vietnam are buying rhino horn because it’s hugely expensive either to keep as an investment confident that the price will only go up or as a way of showing off their wealth and status to other people. Giving rhino horn as a gift to seal a business deal, handing it out to your guests at the end of a drink fuelled party for them to use as a hangover cure or wearing jewellery such as bangles carved from horn shows you have a lot of money to throw around. Unless people’s attitudes change then after legalisation if the price remains extremely high people will continue to buy it for the same reason the fact that it’s no longer illegal will make little difference, I don't buy the idea that it being illegal makes horn that much more attractive. If the price comes down but not drastically then as more people can afford rhino horn more people will buy it, people will only stop buying it if the price drops so low that rhino horn ceases to be a status symbol. I can see no reason to believe that the price will come down that low, so it is my view that demand will go up.

 

Pelham Jones in his arguments in favour of legalisation then goes on to make what seems to me to be a very odd suggestion for a pro-trader that more resources should be put into demand reduction. How can you run a successful demand reduction campaign once horn is legal? Driving home the point that rhino has no medicinal properties isn’t going to make a huge difference if more and more horn is being carved into expensive jewellery and ornaments and only the shavings are actually still being consumed. How do you reduce demand for horn jewellery and ornaments when they’re not illegal? For a while horn was being touted as a cancer cure and this rumour undoubtedly started by the criminal syndicates caused the recent upsurge in poaching but I doubt many people actually believe this anymore or are actually taking horn as a cancer cure. Most horn that is consumed is taken as a hangover cure not because it works better than anything else but because it’s more expensive than anything else, I’m sure most of the people taking it already know that it doesn’t have magical medicinal properties, since it’s reasonable to assume that they didn’t get rich by being stupid.

 

This reason all of this matters is because the poaching will not stop once legal trade has started and the legal trade will serve to provide a cover for the illegal trade as was the case when the ivory trade was legal. The trade will simply allow the criminals to launder illegal horn and claims that DNA technology will prevent this are just not credible not because the technology doesn’t work but because South Africa and Vietnam (and China if they are brought in as well) are far too corrupt. A combination of corruption and nonexistent law enforcement will guarantee that illegal horn can be laundered very easily. Unless there is a massive reduction in the price of horn criminals will still be able to make huge money from illegal poached horn and rhinos will continue to die.

 

Following this debate and reading many of the reports online from South Africa on the legalisation issue you could be forgiven for thinking that we are only talking about two species of rhino and that rhinos are only found in South Africa. Let’s please not forget that there are still for the moment at least five surviving species of rhino and that aside from South Africa there are nine other range states in Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe that still have rhinos (in some cases reintroduced) and four range states in Asia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal that definitely still have rhinos. How will legalisation benefit all of these other rhinos? We constantly told that legalisation could significantly benefit SanParks great, but tell me how their counterparts like for example TANAPA or ZAWA will benefit, tell me what legalisation will do for greater one-horned rhinos in Assam or Sumatran rhinos in Way Kambas NP in Indonesia. That is to say yes South Africa has more black and white rhinos than any other country but that does not mean that no consideration should be given to the fate of rhinos in other countries in particular the three Asian species which will not be saved by South African rhino farmers if trade is legalised.

 

3115889105_ff419ee469_o.jpg

 

We don't live in South Africa we matter too! What about our future?

 

3116716138_be7d14e4d5_o.jpg

Finally we’re constantly told that the time has come to try something new that the trade should be legalised because we’ve tried everything else, but I don’t believe we have tried everything, I believe there is something else we could try it’s called proper law enforcement, in South Africa law enforcement is in my view inadequate and in Vietnam virtually nonexistent. Vietnam needs to actually take this issue seriously and if they won’t they need to be forced to do so by imposing sanctions. The US in particular needs to be persuaded to get tough with Vietnam over this since South Africa clearly won’t not while the government thinks there’s a vast sums of money to be made from the country’s substantial horn stockpile if the trade is legalised.

Edited by inyathi
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You all, who still oppose legalized trade, do forget one important fact- South Africa HAD national legal trade in rhino horn which was supplied from private owned rhinos until 13 Feb 2009! There wasn't rhino poaching crisis for wild rhinos until the change of law- historical fact no one can argue!!! Our country had little rhino poaching and ZERO NGO's collecting donations on rhino blood, simply because there was no rhino poaching crisis- rhino horn was available on legal market for little money; 8000 rands for a kg. I am the witness to this situation- I lived in South Africa for 12 years!

After the change of national law, in 13 Feb 2009, our country suddenly entered rhino poaching crisis and instead of fighting the rhino poachers- all those NGO's ,who support banning legal trade, start fighting rhino breeders. Rhino breeders fight rhino poachers on their own all these 5 years of rhino war and tis is actually a double war: While Rhino Beggars fight Rhino Breeders, WE- Rhino Breeders, fight Rhino Poachers and Rhino Beggars. Not easy I must admit. God help us!

Illegal trade took complete monopoly ,under current law, in suplying rhino horn to the market by taking rhino life together with the horn. The only supporters to such conditions are those who fight to keep ban in legal trade in place! And all those who benefit to such conditions are continue to poaching our rhinos and collecting donations on rhino blood, or some of those who rather support rhino extinction, like Sangeeta. Would be nice to know your real full name, Sangeeta, for the record of my next book- you might become very famous :) . I am not hiding my name as you see. Feel so sad for the rhinos right now. And there are still those who rather fight for saving rhino horn than rhino life, when they know very well- horn grows back! Wake up!

Edited by Albina Hume
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@inyathi- we have had this discussion before whilst discussing the Galapagos turtles and feral goats on another thread and in another lifetime. Unfortunately, we will never see eye to eye on this one. I am afraid that as a pesky 'animal rights campaigner' it is impossible for me to be sanguine about a 'handful of rhino being hunted'. And good on you that you are so sure that farm-bred captive rhino are happy rhino. However, for me, these animals are much more than mere commodities placed on this earth simply to satisfy our consumptive or hunting urges. And I find the notion of farming rhinos especially distasteful because I see rhino farming as just the first step down the slippery slope to farming every other thing we can lay our toxic hands upon.

 

 

"You worry about rhinos being forced to live on farms but judging by the photos at the beginning of this thread what’s wrong with rhinos living on farms it looks to me like they have pretty good lives and so what if their horns are periodically cut off it doesn't do them any harm. So I ask what is so bad about rhinos being on farms that you would rather they were extinct, gone forever."

 

I am going to give you the benefit of doubt here and assume you did not read or pay attention to my other questions about extinction asked earlier in this thread and therefore lack context for your question. No, I have never said that I would rather that rhinos went extinct. (Though it seems to me that the art of rhetoric is fast becoming extinct along with the rhino). The question I ask and have been asking endlessly, sarcastically, rhetorically, directly, indirectly and in every which way I can is this - what makes the mere existence of something so sacrosanct if the conditions for that existence are not natural? After all, we could simply have loads of captive breeding facilities and farms of all sorts to take care of the non-extinction problem. But is that what we want and the direction we wish to pursue?

 

Going a step further, you may believe that logic and science are the only pertinent pieces that can inform this or any debate, but I am sorry, that is not my view at all. I think if you remove all discussions of ethics and morality from discussions like these, the answer that emerges will be necessarily flawed because it evades the discussion of motive. The end does not justify the means. Yes, philosophy and ethics cannot replace science, but nor can science replace ethics and philosophy. You are of course, perfectly entitled to believe that any such discussion is a distraction from the so-called main debate and that is your choice. I would just ask you not to engage in that case.

 

I hope I have responded to your question clearly. I wish you would now answer some of mine: Do you consider the simple existence of an animal on this earth to be a conservation success story? Why are you interested in saving rhinos from extinction? What is it about extinction that makes it such a horrifying thought to you? Why is saving rhino from extinction more important to you than saving rhinos from exploitation?

 

'Most horn that is consumed is taken as a hangover cure not because it works better than anything else but because it’s more expensive than anything else, I’m sure most of the people taking it already know that it doesn’t have magical medicinal properties, since it’s reasonable to assume that they didn’t get rich by being stupid.'

 

You seem to be sure of many things. However, many of the rest of us are not so fortunate. I would be interested in knowing how you have concluded that it is the price of horn that makes it a preferred remedy for a hangover. I know its price makes it a status symbol generally, but how are you so sure that there is nothing in the culture or traditional medicine of these countries that makes this the hangover remedy of choice?

Edited by Sangeeta
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nd all those who benefit to such conditions are continue to poaching our rhinos and collecting donations on rhino blood, or some of those who rather support rhino extinction, like Sangeeta. Would be nice to know your real full name, Sangeeta, for the record of my next book- you might become very famous :) . I am not hiding my name as you see. Feel so sad for the rhinos right now. And there are still those who rather fight for saving rhino horn than rhino life, when they know very well- horn grows back! Wake up!

 

Dear Albina, I don't know you and you don't know me. SafariTalk has always been open to all opinions and what i"ve liked about it is that we always agree to disagree. No i have absolutely no ties with NGOs, not even in my home country. There I"ve made my position very clear.

 

But your challenge to Sangeeta borders on a personal threat and is absolutely unwarranted and unacceptable. If you cannot help but resort to threats such as these, you shouldn't be joining the discussion. I believe @@Game Warden should step in and stop such threats. it immediately makes people uncomfortable and will chase people out of this so-far civil discussion.

Edited by Kitsafari
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.I am the witness to this situation- I lived in South Africa for 12 years!

I have lived in South Africa all 57 years of my life and I am no expert on many things South African. Maybe trade in rhino horn will work, maybe not. I believe it won't and I give my reasons and opinion why I think so. My beef is that I t believe the powers that be have not done all they can to control the poaching because they have a motive not to. I feel for our brave Rangers who put their lives at risk every day but there are just not enough of them. General Jooste is on record as saying that he needs more resources. We controlled elephant poaching from a few hundred a year to zero in the last few years, We had one poached in Kruger a few months ago. A strong message we can send is by devaluing the horn - there are a number of ways to do this. It starts by not treating our wildlife as chattel.

 

 

 

And there are still those who rather fight for saving rhino horn than rhino life, when they know very well- horn grows back! Wake up!

 

Off course rhino horn will grow back because it is very similar to our fingernails and just as worthless, except on the rhino!

 

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