Ivo Vegter, author of Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies and columnist for the Daily Maverick, has written an article about whether legalising the trade in rhino horn could save the species.
Vegter explains why dehorning rhinos or poisoning the horns do not deter poachers – they simply kill any rhino they find in order to make their own tracking process easier and to save themselves time and money.
The author summarises the two options available to reduce rhino poaching: “Reduce demand for horn by education campaigns, improve anti-poaching security measures, tighten law enforcement, and/or legalise trade.”
Read the article in which Vegter highlights the pros and cons of each option:
His killer argument, however, is this: a government-controlled central selling organisation is far more likely to win the approval of the delegates at CITES than an unrestricted free market. As much as I prefer my capitalism unfettered, he’s right. They’re all watermelons there: green on the outside, and red on the inside (to use James Delingpole’s provocative phrase).
The fate of the rhino hangs on whether these people can be persuaded. If that means making a compromise that appeals to socialists, statists and bureaucrats, then it seems a good compromise to me.
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