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On the 3rd March 1973, at the World Wildlife Conference in Washington D.C, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) was established with the objective of ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.  


The governments of 187 member countries have voluntarily ratified the treaty and agreed to adhere to the convention, which provides a framework in which individual countries adopt and implement their own domestic legislation to ensure the agreement is observed on a national level. This intervention has led proponents of a legalised trade of rhino horn to aggressively argue international trade bans have failed to protect South Africa’s rhinos, stripped the economy of potential revenue through the renewable sale of rhino horns, driven market activity underground allowing criminal syndicates to become entrenched in African society as well as sentencing thousands of rhinos during the last forty years of the convention to their deaths.  


It is counterfactual for pro-trade advocates to denounce the CITES convention and hold the trade ban responsible for today’s rhino poaching resurgence.  Encouragement of a legalised trade is sending conflicting messages, not only to current consumer countries, but also to potential users, contradicting demand reduction campaigns.  Endorsing the use of and financially benefiting from a medically fallacious product is unethical, exploits false beliefs, misguided perceptions and feeds on public naivety.  Lobbying to endorse legalisation without sufficiently establishing a trade mechanism and neglecting to inform the public of any contingency plan is irresponsible, carrying potential irreversible damage.  


The reality is that, under closer scrutiny, pro-trade arguments hold little weight.  Arguments to support trade appear to be manipulating the public through a succession of false allegations and failure to publicly supply evidence to substantiate their claims.  Together, with Save Our Rhino, Facebook’s largest and longest established rhino advocacy group we are publishing a succession of articles in the run up to the next CITES Conference of Parties (CoP17), to be held in South Africa in September 2016 with a mission to debunk the pro-trade propaganda.


CAMPAIGN ARTICLES

SOUTH AFRICA’S RHINO POACHING TIMELINE

For thirty three consecutive years during the CITES ban, South Africa’s rhino poaching incidents remained negligible, due to a greater level of protection than other range country. Just 261 fatalities were officially recorded in statistics provided by the DEA (Department of Environment) over a 27 year period (1980-2007), statistically equating to just 9.66 rhinos lost each year throughout that period.  READ THE FULL ARTCLE >


LEGAL HORN TRADE: A RECKLESS GAMBLE?

Legalising trade of rhino horn would be a reckless path to take to try to end the rhino poaching crisis. The estimated level of demand for rhino horn is based on illegal trade – ignoring millions of potential consumers from countries that have implemented the CITES international trade ban – who would be eager to buy rhino horn products if it was legal to do so, as demand would be encouraged. Sales via the internet and TCM outlets worldwide would increase demand vastly too.  READ THE FULL ARTCLE >


SYNDICATES, POACHING AND REGULATED TRADE

REGULATED TRADE OF RHINO HORN WILL NOT STOP POACHING AND TRAFFICKING AS LONG AS POWERFUL SYNDICATES OPERATE ABOVE THE LAW:

There are many powerful Syndicates and Triads operating in Africa and Asia that take advantage of the weak wildlife laws and high levels of corruption. They trade endangered species products that are trafficked from Africa, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to supply ever growing demand in insatiable markets across Asia.  READ THE FULL ARTICLE >



SIR RICHARD BRANSON, DRUGS & RHINO HORN TRADE

Some people, who are advocating that both the domestic and international rhino horn bans should be lifted, are making some sweeping and wildly inaccurate statements about Sir Richard Branson. The posts that are being made on social media like Facebook, contain comments such as:

– There is huge support for Sir Richard Branson who is advocating the legalization of drugs.

– That Branson has called for the failed prohibition wars to be shut down.

– That Branson has called on the UN to put pressure on governments to end the war on drugs.

Branson’s views about ending poaching are also criticized, with those calling for trade saying that he will not help to save rhino. The twisted statements about Branson are being used in propaganda posts and blogs to try and get support for getting both the domestic and international bans lifted and promoting the sale of rhino horn.  READ THE FULL ARTICLE >





IS THIS THE FUTURE FOR SOUTH AFRICA’S RHINOS?

In association with Save Our Rhino

Facebook.com/saveourrhino  &  savourrhino.net

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