Target: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma
Goal: Stop misguided attempt to rebuild white rhino population by legalizing rhino horn trade
It’s estimated that white rhinos will be extinct in less than 20 years, but some experts claim that legalizing the rhino horn trade will help rebuild the white rhino population. Many conservationists are opposed to the idea, as previous examples of farming animals for their wool have proved disastrous to both the animal and human populations. Furthermore, the medicinal benefits that are associated with powdered white rhino horns are not backed by scientific evidence. Tell the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma that legalizing the rhino horn trade will not benefit the population by signing this petition.
In countries such as Vietnam and other Asian countries, it’s believed that powdered rhino horn will cure cancer and stop fevers, but no evidence has been found by the scientific community to prove this. Unfortunately, it is due to the high demand that white rhinos are being killed by the thousands. In an attempt to rebuild the animal population some experts and South Africa itself are pushing for the trade’s legalization. White rhinos would be held in semi-captivity, where handlers would come in, sedate the animals, and then harvest their horns. Luckily, the horns do grow back.
The Andean vicuna has been cited as a success story for the legalization of trade, as the animal’s population has sprung back thanks to legalizing the wool trade. However, other consequences have erupted, such as poachers becoming armed and game rangers being hurt while on duty. Furthermore, farming the vicuna has lead to artificial natural selection, where humans affect the ways that the animals breed and survive. It has led to genetic diversity that would not have existed in the wild. These consequences would exist if the white rhinos were farmed for their horns. It is also ridiculous to sell rhino horn as medicine when its benefits have not been validated by the scientific community.
Many animals have been slaughtered for their rumored medical benefits or as decorations for homes. Urge President Jacob Zuma to not legalize the rhino horn trade, as it will bring forth many consequences.
Dear President Jacob Zuma,
As you well know, white rhinos are being killed for their horns, and it’s estimated that the entire species could disappear in less than 20 years. Their disappearance would be disastrous for Africa, as the ecology of the land depends on these animals. Your country is proposing a radical option to save the species: legalizing the rhino horn trade. While it would help to increase their numbers, poaching rates will skyrocket and other consequences will soon follow.
This is not the best option. Rhinos are being killed for a rumored medical benefit, and your country wishes to support this? South Africa would be sending the world the wrong message, particularly to Asian countries. I urge you to find a different solution that does not involve farming rhinos.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karl Stromayer via Wikimedia Commons