South Africa: Protect Rhinos from Poaching - Don't Legalize the Trade of Rhino Horn!

  • by: Julie S.
  • target: Honorable Members of the South African Parliament, South African Department of Environmental Affairs

In 2016, more than 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa. Rhinos are no longer safe even at zoos - rhino horn is in such high demand that poachers recently broke into France's Thoiry Zoo, shot and killed a white rhinoceros, and sawed off his horn with a chainsaw. Zoos throughout Europe and reserves in Africa are now cutting off the horns of living rhinos to protect them from the criminal gangs determined to kill rhinos and acquire their horn.

Despite the immense threats rhinos face as a species, South Africa is considering a proposal to legalize the trade of rhino horn within the nation's borders and allow some exports for "personal purposes."

The Species Survival Network has provided numerous reasons why this legislation would undermine conservation efforts and put rhinos at increased risk for poaching. This proposal sends a message to the world that the trade and use of rhino horn is justifiable, which will increase demand in Asian countries where rhino horn is widely used in folk medicine. The new law would provide a cover for poachers who intend to sell rhino horn on the black market, and would make it nearly impossible for authorities to prosecute criminals involved in the illegal trade.

Rhinos are magnificent animals who display high levels of intelligence and compassion. As an animal lover, I view the loss of each individual rhino killed by poachers as a tragedy. The Western Black Rhino is already extinct, primarily as a result of poaching, and we must not wait to take action to save other rhino species. Please sign this petition urging South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Parliament to protect rhinos by maintaining the moratorium on the domestic trade of rhino horn, and choosing not to legalize exports.

Dear Honorable members of the South African Parliament and Minister Molewa,


We are deeply concerned regarding the recent proposal to legalize the trade of rhino horn within South Africa’s borders and allow some exports for “personal purposes.”


The Species Survival Network has provided numerous reasons why this legislation would undermine conservation efforts and put rhinos at increased risk for poaching. This proposal sends a message to the world that the trade and use of rhino horn is justifiable, which will increase demand in Asian countries where rhino horn is widely used in folk medicine. The new law would provide a cover for poachers who intend to sell rhino horn on the black market, and make it nearly impossible for authorities to prosecute criminals involved in the illegal trade.


The Western Black Rhino is already extinct, primarily as a result of poaching, and we must not wait to take action to save other rhino species.


We urge the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Parliament to protect rhinos by maintaining the moratorium on the domestic trade of rhino horn, and choosing not to legalize exports.


Thank you for your consideration.


[your comments]


Sincerely,


[your name]

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