Target: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma
Goal: Do not lift international ban on rhino horn trade.
With the spike of 1,305 African Rhinos poached in 2015 the importance of focusing on conservation efforts is paramount. Despite this South Africa is debating on whether to lift the ban on international trade of rhino horn at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Johannesburg in the fall. Creating a legal market for rhino horns will remove the stigma of consumption of endangered species, and reinvigorate the market that pushed the rhino, and so many other species, to the brink of extinction.
Rhino numbers have not gotten the chance to recover from over hunting. In the past, 500,000 rhinos roamed Asia and Europe, but at present only 28,000 remain. Lifting the ban on the trade will give poachers a legal market for laundering horns, and give criminal groups and incentive to continue hunting rhinos. In addition, legalizing the sale of rhino horns increases the danger for the Sumatran Rhino and the Javan Rhino, both of which number under 100.
The ban on the sale of rhino horns was placed due to the insatiable demand for rhino horn nearly wiping out an entire species across the globe. Lifting this ban before populations have recovered leaves the species vulnerable and valuable to poachers looking to take advantage of the fresh market. Ensure that this critical ban is not lifted by signing the petition.
Dear President Jacob Zuma,
Poaching has recently undone much of the conservation efforts to regrow rhinoceros populations in Africa over the last few years. With the huge hit on rhino populations, now is the time to redouble conservation efforts, not open a new market. We demand that rhino horn stays illegal on international trade fronts.
Rhinoceros horn may be a coveted rarity in many Asian countries, but legalizing the trade will open up demand across the globe that will lead to the extreme destruction of rhinoceros populations across the globe. Pushing to open legal international trade will reignite the insatiable desire of the world for rhino horn, one that the current population of 28,000 rhinos on the African and Asian continent simply cannot sustain.
Do not push to legalize rhinoceros horn at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. We demand that rhino horns remain illegal to trade internationally to save the species from increased poaching risk.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Lucas Alexander