Target: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
Goal: Stop the illegal smuggling of rhino horns
Poaching of rhinoceros for their horns in southern Africa has been on the rise. Horns are smuggled and sold to buyers who believe the horns hold medical properties. This week seven arrests were made in four states following an 18 month investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Homeland Security. The demand for rhino horn needs to be quelled, and poaching of rhinoceros needs to end, otherwise remaining rhinoceros will continue on their path to extinction. The recent arrests in the US are a positive sign that smuggling will not be tolerated in this country. However, the source of the problem lies in countries who value the horns, and countries that have rhino populations. In 2011 341 rhinos were killed in South Africa national parks. In comparison, only 36 rhinos were killed in 2005. These numbers are increasing due to the demands of countries in Asia and the middle east. Countries such as China and Vietnam believe ground rhino horn can cure cancer. Rhino horns are used in the middle east to make the handles of ornamental daggers. One kilogram of rhino horn can bring in $35,000 on the black market. The trafficking of rhinoceros horn violates federal law and all species of rhinoceros are protected under international law. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which regulates rhino horn trade, must stop all illegal poaching and smuggling of rhino horn.
Demand for rhino horn is at an all time high for reasons that are useless and antiquated. The belief that rhino horn can cure cancer is absurd since the horns are made of keratin, the same material human fingernails are composed of, and there is no evidence that keratin has any medicinal properties. For this, rhinos are shot with tranquilizer darts and their horns are sawed off leaving them to bleed to death.
There has been talk of legalizing rhinoceros horn trade in order to save the rhinos. South Africa has even commenced a study to discern if legalizing trade would decrease poaching. Conservation groups worldwide oppose legalization. Rhinos are no longer ubiquitous in regions they once were and allowing poaching in any form will do nothing to stabilize their populations.
Rhinoceros horn is not a useful commodity. Therefore the poaching of rhinos and the smuggling of their horns needs to end. By signing this petition you are telling the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to end the illegal poaching of rhinoceros, and smuggling of their horns.
Dear Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,
The increase in illegal poaching of rhinoceros for their horns is alarming. Although efforts are being made to thwart the action of poachers and smugglers, shown by the recent arrests in the United States of smugglers, more needs to be done. Poaching of rhinoceros needs to end. Rhino horns are sought for their supposed medicinal benefits and for ornamental purposes. However, there is no evidence to show that rhino horn will have any effects on medical conditions, certainly not cancer. The reasons for the increase in rhino horn trafficking are not worth the loss of rhino lives and the further endangerment of the species.
Please work to put an end to poaching in countries that have rhino populations so those populations may stabilize, and regain their numbers. There is support for the legalization of poaching in South Africa in order to save rhinos. If there were actually a valid use for the product perhaps this would be a viable option. However, the demand for rhino horn for medicinal reasons has no validity in science.
Rhino horn is not a useful commodity. Therefore the brutal poaching of rhinos and the smuggling of their horns needs to end.
[Your Name Here]