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Rhino Horn Auction in South Africa Stirs Controversy

Image: Rhino Horn Auction in South Africa Stirs Controversy

In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, rhinos graze in the bush on the edge of Kruger National Park in South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

By    |   Thursday, 24 August 2017 06:10 AM

An online rhino horn auction opened by a South African rhino breeder has sparked controversy, with some saying the action could encourage poaching.

A ban on international sale and trade of rhino horns remains in place, with breeder John Hume pledging to keep the horns within South Africa, ABC News reported. Hume claims that legally selling the horns will undercut poaching, but critics don’t agree.

The World Wildlife Fund said that South African rhino poaching has increased 9,000 percent since 2007, since the horns can go for more than $100,000 per kilo in Asia where many believe the horn has medicinal powers, CNN reported.

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa in 2016, the fourth year this has happened. South Africa has 80 percent of the world’s rhino population, and fewer than 20,000 are left there, CNN reported.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said that it would be nearly impossible to monitor the horns once they are sold and is worried that they will end up on the international black market in violation of the law, CNN reported.

Hume’s ranch is home to over 1,500 rhinos, and he spends more than $170,000 a year on security that protects them from poachers, not including other costs like veterinary care, salaries, and upkeep of the ranch, according to The Guardian.

Hume keeps the rhinos’ horns trimmed to discourage their poaching, and it is these saved horns, more than six tons worth, that he is aiming to sell, The Guardian reported. The proceeds would be used to continue the breeding and protection of the rhinos on Hume’s ranch.

Many on Twitter thought the auction was a bad idea and would not help rhinos going forward.

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An online rhino horn auction opened by a South African rhino breeder has sparked controversy, with some saying the action could encourage poaching.
rhino, horn, auction, south africa
367
2017-10-24
Thursday, 24 August 2017 06:10 AM
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