Leaked Document Reveals Swaziland Has Submitted Rhino Horn Trade Proposal To CITES!

Just days before the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) burn 106 tons of Ivory and Rhino Horn a leaked document reveals Swaziland have unveiled plans to legalise Rhino Horn to pay for anti-poaching efforts. In the document addressed to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), Swaziland’s anti-poaching body said it wanted to sell the country’s 330kg stockpile of horn collected from naturally deceased animals and confiscated from poachers.

UntitledSwaziland proposes to sell a 330-kilogram stockpile of horn it confiscated from poachers or collected from animals that died of natural causes. Practitioners of traditional medicine in China and Vietnam pay handsomely for Rhino horn believing it to have curative properties, though in fact it is made from the same substance as human fingernails and has no known medicinal value. Swaziland says its stockpile could fetch as much as $9.9 million which they say would be used to protect the tiny landlocked country’s 73 white Rhinos from poaching.

SWAZ-Hlane-Park-White-Rhino-looking-straight-on-lying-down-A-645xSwaziland proposed to sell a further 20kg each year, raising $600,000, by harvesting horn from living herds. Rhino horns regrow after being cut.

The Cites Management Authority of Swaziland, which made the proposal, said the 39-year-old ban on trading Rhino horn had failed. It cited the poaching crisis in neighbouring South Africa, where 1,175 Rhinos were killed in 2015.

“At present 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Rhino horn are taken by criminals, while Rhino custodians pay 100% of the costs of Rhino protection and production yet they desperately need funds to cover these costs,” said the authority.

A South African court decision to lift a ban on trading Rhino horn has divided conservationists. In the race against poachers a solution must be found quickly but the wrong decision could be catastrophic.

The proposal will now be formally discussed and voted on at the Cites Conference of Parties in Johannesburg in September. The bid is likely to fail, because the majority of parties have little appetite for a legalised trade, preferring to focus on dampening demand in the Asia.

Swaziland proposed to sell a further 20kg each year, raising $600,000, by harvesting horn from living herds. Rhino horns regrow after being cut.

The Cites Management Authority of Swaziland, which made the proposal, said the 39-year-old ban on trading Rhino horn had failed. It cited the poaching crisis in neighbouring South Africa, where 1,175 Rhinos were killed in 2015.

“At present 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Rhino horn are taken by criminals, while Rhino custodians pay 100% of the costs of Rhino protection and production yet they desperately need funds to cover these costs,” said the authority.

Swaziland’s Rhino horn trade proposal comes less than a year after its controversial sale of 18 of its Elephants to three American zoos for $450,000 in order to help fund the country’s Rhino conservation efforts.

Is burning the stockpiles the answer? Is selling the stockpiles the answer?

Perhaps coming down harder on poachers AND those who buy ivory and Rhino horn is the answer!!

The Swaziland Proposal To CITES

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