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Newsletter 72
01/07/13

An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs 


Rhino horn worth more than cocaine per ounce

Dear Madam 

I am writing this letter to urge you to open the trade in rhino horn. 

If you would do this, there are financially powerful individuals in the private sector and pharmaceutical companies able and willing to clone rhino horn and deliver it into the Asian markets.

However  to clone and produce rhino horn is a considerable financial investment. No one will make this investment until an open market, fair and free trade scenario is in place. 

The rhino war will be won or lost in South Africa. Other African countries lost their rhino a long time ago. Therefore the power is in your hands as the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs in the South African Cabinet. 

CITES is far too inflexible to accommodate the changing dynamics in the complex rhino crisis. We cannot afford to wait three years for the next CITES decision. The rhino crisis needs bold, decisive and visionary decision making now! To delay will cost us hundreds more rhino. To continue the war will cost us millions of rands. 

I urge you to take the rhino horn market away from the criminal element and put it in a controlled market force environment in South Africa. 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
John Varty 

Co-owner Londolozi Game Reserve
Founder Londolozi Production
Founder Tiger Canyons, South Africa


Response

Fiona Parkinson Naive to think that this would work, perhaps ? People are sceptical and superstitious by nature. They will always suspect that the cloned horn is not as good as the real thing, which would push up demand for real horn even further. The cloned product would naturally be cheaper, and behavioural economics has proven that a hefty price tag increases an item's desirability - it's just how the human psyche is wired. It's called The Scarcity Principle

Cam Steele "I urge you to take the rhino horn market away from the criminal element and put it in a controlled market force environment in South Africa" How on earth are you going to take it away from the criminal element? These people do not walk around in a uniform that says I am a criminal Rhino horn dealer or I am a slaughterer of one of the worlds greatest creatures. These guys run from villagers, to freight forwarders, to customs people, to military personnel, to politicians, to business folk, militia gangs and warlords, drug gangs, human traffickers, arms dealers and even corrupt wildlife workers and Veterinarians and so on... The "wild Rhino" doesn't cost the poacher a thing to feed or maintain. Its just a matter of surveillance, a few dollars in graft payments here and there and then in for the kill. There is a risk, but they dont care, more get away than are caught or shot. Those that are caught are often set free on bail and when sentenced the sentences are often weak and some walk free altogether. Fake Ivory [ie: Ivory Mycarta] has been around for many years and has not saved the Elephant from the slaughter! While you have a legitimate market for a cloned product, you are introducing more and more consumers every day. Many will always want the real deal and will pay for it. Just like is happening with Ivory !That is the nature of humans - Why have a replica when I can get the real deal and to hell with the costs and risks! Then the business people whom privately own Rhinos say - hey, lets farm our Rhinos and sell the horn and the tragic cycle never ends as the world fills with more and more consumers every day and we turn yet another animal into a dollar producer for us. China has disgraceful barbaric Tiger Farms to supply Tiger body parts. The Government has not shut these down and their operation has not stopped the Tiger slaughter which is now at Epic levels! There are Legitimately run and equally disgraceful Bear farms spread across Asia. This is not saving the wild Bears from the slaughter! "Controlled markets" are always exploited by those who have one focus - money! No consumer base - No market!!! its a basic rule of business - legal or illegal! The Chinese are the biggest culprit in this slaughter, just as they are in the Elephant and Tiger slaughters. They nearly lost their Giant Panda to extinction. However they saved them and did it incredibly quickly in natures circle. They banned all trade in the Panda. They provided Government protection and trading in Panda - live, dead or body parts was met with the death penalty!!! It worked and Panda's are with us..... We have mining companies making billions of dollars in profits out of the lands, often the Rhinos historical range. We have tourist en mass heading thru our airports around the globe , we have armies sitting idle around the world... Why arent we thinking outside the box? Why arent we taking Chinas initiative in saving their Panda and utilizing the same principles in saving the worlds animals that they are sending to extinction? Why are we not taxing the mining companies to fund conservation and protection? Why arent we seeing a departure/arrival tax on entering African and Asian countries to help funding wildlife protection. Hell, bring the Tax to Australia too, I will pay it! We increase these taxes to fund global security, why not the animals world? We have armies of the world being utilized thru the UN to save people. Yet we have No similar organization, absolutely nothing for the wild world and they are facing extinction, not us.... Why are we freely trading with China and Vietnam and no boycotting them [I do it in my every day life], to make them bring an end to the consumption and illegal trade? Why is it we cant look outside the box???

Melodie Kingma Are you CRAZY - never heard such nonsense in my life!! There will never be a controlled market force - we cannot even control our seafood industry let alone rhino horn - what are these people smoking? This govt cannot even control the finances collected in the country - hello ........ but besides WHY market it when it is a fake obsession, a status symbol and we may just as well harvest all citizens' toe and fingernails and sell it to them ......NO NO NO TO TRADE NEVER!!!

Jean T H Berdou Who generated the concept of cloning rhino horn? is this the latest desperate bid to try to revive the fast fading fortunes of rhino horn trade as a possibility in South Africa. It is clear to all that what was going to probably be an approved activity in horn trade has very fast dissipated with the powers that be except in the minds of the few who have huge vested financial interests in trying to keep the possibility of horn trade alive. Whilst one is entitled to their points of view the one solution fits all of sustainability, do allow the rest of us and the local and international authorities their say too when this solution is ultimately rejected.

J Merrick  Cloning rhino horn is just double speak for farming rhinos.  Is that your answer also for elephants, tigers and all the other animal species under threat by humans?  We just farm them and slaughter them like cattle to satisfy the voodoo beliefs of humans?
I think not!  

Mike Gunn.   John. Again I will never support your call for trade. You have surely stopped looking at the big picture if you can imagine that this could work!! You let me know how you see it saving our rhino and if I cannot counter everything you suggest, you will have a convert.

Jocelin Kagan    PLEASE put this letter out to the world through one of the major signature sites: NRDC, The petition site, Colleen H., Care 2 Action there are several of them. One recently took the SA Government to court for taking down posters at the airports showing lions being slaughtered for their bones another crisis looming for us. Namibia, Zambia and Botswana have the bigger picture. They see their wildlife as a major tourist attraction and are onto poachers - shoot on sight, and whatever it takes to preserve their national treasures. I support you in what you are doing and believe you need wider exposure.

Renold Mafuyeka.    I agree Mr Varty on your  proposal with the minister, the war against poaching is getting out of hand daily. The markets will reduce poaching. The minister should act quickly to save jobs and rangers lives. Thanks

Debbie Lewarne    Dear John, I am a supporter of Tiger Canyon and your wonderful work at Londolozi, but I must disagree with your stand on Rhino horn trade. I believe that this will continue the myth that Rhino horn is medicinal, which we all know is not true. Rhinos should NOT be subjected to the trauma of regular dehorning. Why not dye the horn which makes it unusable, and it only has to be done once? Further I believe the the trade in Rhino horn will only benefit the farmers who are "farming" our Wildlife for monetary gain. Bears are milked for their Bile for medicinal reasons and now South Africa is milkingnRhinos for their Horn. Please reconsider your stance on this critical issue. I believe the government could halt Rhino poaching, if they really had the will to do so? Your sincerely

Peter Villalobos I think Nelson Mandela did well by bringing rights to the South African blacks. However, this is when the Rhino and Elephant and Lion populations began to dwindle!

Simon Bloch Hey Varty, how many horns have you got stashed in your stockpile?


 
 

 

 

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

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Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


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