Does Rhino Horn Work? No One Moved a Muscle!

News reports out of South Africa with respect to the rhino crisis are alarming, with more than 290 animals already poached so far in 2013 – annualized that will be over 800 by year end – and even dehorned rhinos are being slaughtered.

As CEO of the Born Free Foundation I attended the recent CITES Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. In front of more than 100 people I personally asked the South African Minister responsible for wildlife, the President of the Private Rhino Owners Association, the President of the Professional Hunters Association, an eminent South African economist and the South African Ambassador to Thailand, all of whom were there promoting the idea of legalising rhino horn trade, to raise their hands if they believed that rhino horn was effective in medicinal use. Not one of them moved a muscle.

Yet they would be willing to sell rhino horn to folks in the Far East, knowing full-well it doesn’t work, exploiting the ignorance of people who mistakenly believe it will cure their mother/father/sister/brother of cancer.

Unethical? Unacceptable? Downright disgraceful? Too right!

In my view, legalising rhino horn trade will legitimise the use of a substance which absolutely does not work, make a handful of private rhino owners very rich, provide a legal cover for illegal trade, further jeopardise the security of all Africa’s rhino, and allow the poachers, and the organised criminal gangs who back them, to – quite literally – carry on making a killing.

What do you think?

Blogging off!


2 Responses to “Does Rhino Horn Work? No One Moved a Muscle!”

  1. Donna Mackenzie Says:

    Yup, totally agree. Given the restrictions that were fairly recently imposed on the selling of herbal medicines in the UK eg echinacea (which some studies show does actually work), it is totally unacceptable and immoral to exploit people who don’t know any better.

    That’s before we even consider the plight of the poor rhinos. If the rhino horn trade is legalised how long will it be before there are no rhinos at all? If they are no more I dread to think what those vile traders, poachers etc will move onto next.

  2. Claire collins Says:

    Absolutely disgusting, immoral and beyond belief