OSCAP International Rhino Conference 2014
Risk Assessment of Rhino Horn Trade
SUMMARISING FINDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE
- The premise that legalizing rhino horn trade will make illegal trade unprofitable is neither based on sound economic theory nor supported by solid data.
- Trade legalisation will most likely preserve and reinforce the illegal sourcing of horn by enabling market expansion, commerce diversification and laundering opportunities.
- Attempts by South Africa to sell its rhino horn cheaply, thereby undercutting the illegal market, will likely fail. As market power is concentrated in the final stages of commercialisation, a legal supply of horn from South Africa will be unable to influence (much less to control) retail prices or final demand.
- Legalising trade will simply create two parallel markets–legal and illegal–which will operate alongside each other, as with ivory, reptile skins and numerous other wildlife products.
- Surveys in Vietnam have shown that, if trade is legalised, many more people would buy rhino horn.
- A basic calculation shows that, even with rhino farming, there would not be enough rhino horn to sustain a legitimised market. Organised wildlife crime syndicates will exploit the legal market by laundering illegal horn through it.
- Rhino horn bans, coupled with effective wildlife law enforcement and field protection, do work when they are properly and comprehensively applied, with no loopholes, and with appropriate penalties for all offenders.
- There is little appetite in CITES for allowing legal trade in rhino horn. Rather than risk submitting a proposal that will almost certainly fail, South Africa should focus its resources on bringing South Africa n “khaki collar” criminal networks to justice, supporting demand reduction in the consumer States, putting pressure on Mozambique to upgrade its wildlife law enforcement efforts and, above all, discouraging speculators from rhino horn stockpiling within South Africa by stating clearly that it has no intention of submitting a CITES proposal for legal rhino horn trade.
- Illegal rhino horn trade will continue unless there is sufficient political will to deal with corruption in the range States, including in South Africa.
- The establishment by South Africa of a legal trade in rhino horn would further jeopardise the vulnerable rhino populations of other rhino range States.
OSCAP – International Rhino Coalition – Journal
International Conference 2014
Below is a link to the journal that has been produced of the speakers presentations.
Speaker presentation videos can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/channels/oscap2014