Balepye rhino conservation and sustainable livelihoods: game ranching presentation
Maenetja, Dipati Benjamin, author
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, publisher
International trade in rhino horn was banned in the 1970's and this ban has had the same effect as the prohibition of alcohol did in the US by creating a black market. Banning trade has only contributed to increasing poaching as also evidenced by South Africa's ban of domestic trade in rhino horn being followed by a spike in poaching. Legalising trade will take away control of trade from black markets and let regulated markets take over thus crippling criminal syndicates and curbing rhino poaching. The ban on international trade of rhino horn and all other interventions, including anti-poaching units and awareness campaigns, have failed to effectively protect rhinos. Sustainable utilisation of rhinos is the only logical option left to save rhinos. Sustainable utilisation requires legalizing trade and has been proven in the past to be effective as seen with animals such as ostriches, crocodiles and others. Sustainable use of South America's vicuñahas resulted in the animal being saved from extinction while contributing to conservation and alleviating poverty, the same can be achieved with rhinos through legalisation of trade. For this reason rhino horn can be sustainably utilised by harvesting it regularly through dehorning without killing the animal. When harvesting you get about 30 to 60 kilograms of rhino horn from a single rhino that is kept alive over a period of time. Through poaching or pseudo hunting you only get about 1-3kg and at times even 6kg from a full grown adult and the rhino is killed.
Presented at the 9th international wildlife ranching symposium: wildlife - the key to prosperity for rural communities, held on 12-16 September 2016 at Hotel Safari & the Safari Court, Windhoek, Namibia.