Stop South Africa From Legalizing Rhino Horn Trade

Target: South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs

Goal: To Stop South Africa from legalizing the trading of rhino horns

South Africa is home to 93% of the world population of rhinos, animals who are threatened by extinction. A more pressing threat to these rhinos is the poachers who target them for their horns, which they sell for up to $500,000 a piece on the Asian illegal market. Now, South African government is throwing around the idea of legalizing rhino horn trade.

The rhino death count from poaching this year alone is currently at 309, quite a leap from 2007’s death count of 13. Organized poaching syndicates have become more widespread as the demand for rhino horns has increased. People of China, Thailand and especially Vietnam have been fed the medically disproven myth that rhino horns are a cure for cancer. The Asian demand for these horns is unmatchable and high paying, so poachers constantly have work to do and an opportunity to make money.

International trade in rhino horns was banned in 1977 by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) after a wave of poaching threatened to destroy rhino populations. South Africa, which still allows trophy hunting under a permit system, also imposed a moratorium on the domestic sale of rhino products and horns in 2009 following a dramatic upsurge in rhino poaching in over the past four years.

A controversial method of horn poisoning has recently been used to curb the demand for the horns. The poison does not harm the rhino, and is not lethal to humans but can cause extreme discomfort. In response to the idea of poisoning horns, the South African government came up with a plan to legalize the trade. Supporters such as Wildlife Ranching South Africa {WRSA) claim that legal trade would be tightly monitored and a way to raise funds for rhino conservation.

Opponents such as WWF International recognize that legal trade would increase demand for rhino horn products and make poaching even more profitable by creating avenues to launder illegal rhino horn.

Please help end this grievous practice rather than allowing the South African government to encourage it. To stop the whirlwind and ask the government of South Africa to reconsider their plan to legalize rhino horn trade please sign the petition below.


Dear South Africa’s Department of  Environmental Affairs,

I was appalled to learn that South Africa’s current plan to help save the endangered species of rhinos is to legalize the trading of their horns.

In 2007 poachers killed 13 rhinos. This year 309 rhinos have already been killed, due to a jump in organized poaching syndicates. The horns are being sold on the Asian illegal market because people in Thailand, China and especially Vietnam believe the medically disproven idea that rhino horns are a cure for cancer. Legalizing the trade would only increase demand for the horn products, making poaching even more profitable by creating avenues to launder illegal rhino horn.

Please help end this grievous practice rather than encouraging it.


[Your Name Here]

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