South Africa is facing an onslaught from poachers who are decimating our rhino population to satisfy the demand from mainly the Far East [Vietnam in particular], of ignorant people who believe quite absurdly that the horn is some sort of cure for a multitude of physical ailments.
Last year more than 400 rhinos were slaughtered illegally, and four months into this year nearly 200 more have been killed.
The Ministry for the Environment announced today that they are contemplating approaching the international community to lift the ban on trade in rhino horn so that South Africa can sell it legally, in an attempt to disrupt or destroy the poaching business. Reports indicate that South Africa may be sitting on a stockpile of around 20 tons of the stuff, which is estimated to be worth around R 500 000 a kilogram. That’s several times the value of gold.
Like many things in life, the answer is not straightforward and there are both pros and cons.
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