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Rhino Farming

China buys up African rhinos ‘to farm for horn’ - Times Online

RHINOS, among the world’s most endangered and iconic animals, are being farmed on Chinese wildlife reserves in order to harvest their horns, a report by international conservation monitors has suggested.

The monitors have found that China has imported 141 live white rhino from South Africa since 2000, far more than is needed for tourism purposes.
They have also gathered evidence that the aim of the purchases is to set up rhino farms.
“The suspicion is that these rhinos are being aggregated into herds and farmed for their horns, which are valued for medicinal purposes,” said Tom Milliken of Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Good news all round you would think, wild rhinos will be less valuable and so safer, rhino horn can be harvested from live rhinos (it is only hair), the number of rhinos will increase and as the farmed ones will be well looked after.
So why is everyone up in arms about it?


So why is everyone up in arms about it?

Precisely because it will reduce the value of wild rhino horn and thus reduce their attractiveness to poaching. I know a couple of guys who spend half their lives in the bush actively protecting rhinos and stand behind their efforts 100%*, but think of all the nice chair bound careers and city based sinecures that currently exist simply to "raise awareness" and "study" the problem. Sadly the latter sort of "conservationist" is the type with the loudest voice and most influence and you can bet they will do their utmost to get the trade of farmed horn banned.

Here in Africa some reserves already dehorn wild rhinos in an effort to make them less of a target for poachers, but do you think they can then sell the horns to fund more conservation? Not a chuff. The conservation industry saw precisely the same threat to its well being and invoked CITES to prevent their sale. The same happens with the ivory produced as a necessary by-product of various legitimate elephant culls - the stuff gets burned instead.

*Well, who wouldn't give their full support to chaps paid to shoot bad people for a living?

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