Target: Mr. Mpho Tjiane, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, CITES
Goal: Keep the ban on the sale of rhino horns.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has kept the sale of rhino horns illegal since 1977. With fewer than 5,000 rhinos left in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa is considering a radical move and reversing the ban on rhino horns.
Rhino horns are popular throughout the black markets mainly in China and Vietnam. Many people use it as “medicine.” Rhino horns are made of keratin, which is the same material that makes up human finger nails. There is no evidence that keratin is able to cure any medical conditions. A kilogram of rhino horn is worth up to $60,000 which makes it even more valuable than gold.
Horns are obtained by poaching. One hundred years ago, more than 500,000 rhinos lived in sub-Saharan Africa. Poaching has been the cause of the drastic drop in the rhino population. In 2011 alone, there were more than 1,000,000 recorded illegal transactions of wild fauna and flora.
By reversing the ban on rhino horns, demand will grow and put an already threatened species in even more danger. Sign this petition below and demand that CITES keep the ban on the sale of rhino horns to protect this endangered species.
Dear Mr. Tjiane,
South Africa is considering reversing the ban on the sale of rhino horns. Many argue that selling farmed rhino horn would help lower poaching. However, tracking which horns were poached and which were farmed can be quite a difficult task. In addition, making the sale of rhino horns legal will make them cheaper and easier to obtain, which leads to higher demand. This will make poaching become even more profitable.
Rhino horns are made from keratin, which is the same material that makes up our fingernails. Many people who buy rhino horn use it for medicinal purposes although there is no proof that it helps with any medical conditions. Educating people with this information could help lower the sale of rhino horn since it would be seen as useless.
There are less than 5,000 rhinos left in Sub-Saharan Africa. Just 100 years ago, there were more than 500,000. By reversing the ban, we are encouraging the kill of rhinos when we need to do the exact opposite. We need to protect this species and give them a chance to thrive again. Please keep the ban on rhino horns to protect these remarkable animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Brent Stirton