UK Deal To Prevent Rhino Extinction


Britain has secured international agreement to clamp down on the illegal trade of rhino horn, which has become so sought-after it is now worth more than diamonds, gold, heroin and cocaine.

The UK will lead a global steering group to dispel the myths that rhino horn can cure cancer or help with strokes, myths which are creating such a demand for it in Asia that it is now worth around $50,000 a kilo.

International Group To Save Rhinos From Extinction

Britain will head the group, but countries and conservation groups across the world will also work together by sharing intelligence, policing tactics and public awareness campaigns against the illegal trade.

The agreement was reached at the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva.

265 Rhinos Killed So Far This Year

From The Guardian, reporting on rhino poaching in South Africa:

Some 265 rhinos have been poached so far this year, according to government figures, an average of more than one per day. This puts 2011 on course to surpass last year’s record death toll of 333. In 2007, it was just 13.

Why? There is no mystery about it. Experts agree the carnage results from a false belief, widespread in the far east, that rhino horn can cure cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. There is now soaring demand from the newly moneyed consumers of China and Vietnam. Poaching gangs here are increasingly sophisticated, using helicopters, silent tranquillisers, body armour, night vision equipment and mercenaries experienced in rhino tracking.

Once a rhino’s horn has been hacked off, they leave the animal to bleed to death. The horn is then smuggled out of the country by an international syndicate.

In South Africa, Army Troops Protect The Rhino

As Care2′s Andreas S wrote here, the fight against rhino poaching in South Africa has taken on military proportions with the government sending in army troops to help protect the embattled species.

And now the international community has taken up the cause of rhino preservation. As first reported in The Guardian, British Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “Criminals trading in rhino horn have lined their pockets while bringing this magnificent animal to the brink of extinction, but their days are now numbered.”

“We will be leading global action to clamp down on this cruel and archaic trade, and to dispel the myths peddled to vulnerable people that drive demand for rhino products.”

Related Stories

The Battle To Save The Rhino

Rhino Horns Stolen From Museums, Sold On Black Market In Asia

Photo Credit: nicolaspied via Creative Commons


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Eveline M.
Eveline M.4 years ago

How can we know what the uk is doing to fight this slaughter?

Miss Mae
Miss Mae4 years ago

wow. had no idea.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Great article. Thanks.

tracey p.
tracey p.4 years ago

education and a real, concerted effort to teach people that the myths are just the only way anything will change.

Jackie Davis
Jackie Davis4 years ago

Old tales of "miracle cures" travel throughout many countries. These people believe that certain "potions" will cure them from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. They should realize that no modern world doctor recommends these when a patient needs to be treated for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This should tell them that killing a Rhino for its horn is a barbaric and useless act. Old myths are hard to dispel. I feel that education could help but I do not think that is the definitive answer. The bottom line is that the Rhino and the Elephant need better protection from poachers. They are not the only wild animals that need protection. I hope and pray that we as a humane society can offer protection to these and all wild animals before they are brought to extinction.

Brian Fitzpatrick

It's sad that people haven't learned much from the many many mistakes we've made.

Peter M.
Peter M.4 years ago

Anyone wishing to get a first-hand idea of unfolding rhino issues down here in South Africa can access our facebook page at "spots south africa". Click on "like" and you will receive all updates. We also need all the exposure of the problem we can get, so please spread the page widely. Thanks for all your help and concern.

rafael romero
rafael romero4 years ago

can't believe that

Jan Garen
Jan Garen4 years ago

This global action is long overdue. Governments always wait until an animal is on the brink of extinction before doing anything. This obsene trade like that in tiger bone wine and ivory and bear bile should have been tackled long ago.

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan4 years ago

Change the myths.In fact if you were to spread new myths like rhino horns cause impotence,baldness and an early death.Oh and the people buying it are getting ripped off because it cures nothing.Wonder how many people would want it then?