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Sat Dec 20 22:08:09 SAST 2014

Legal sales 'to stop killing'?

Schalk Mouton | 26 November, 2012 00:29
File photo of a white rhino.
Image by: JAMES OATWAY

Legalisation of the sale of rhino horn is one of the most controversial issues in rhino conservation. Though there is a Cites ban on trade in rhino horn, Pelham Jones, head of the SA Rhino Owners' Association, says legalisation of the sale of horn is the only way to effectively combat poaching.

"The Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) ban has not saved the life of one rhino," he said.

"We havetons of horn from animals who died naturally. The 20t to 30t of horn can satisfy demand and the money could be pumped into conservation."

But Jo Shaw, coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund, does not agree.

"It is not known how the legalisation of rhino horn sales would affect demand or the price consumers will pay. It is not clear how illegal horn would be prevented from being laundered and entering this legal market," she said.

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