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Swaziland makes a reckless bid for legal rhino horn trade



Africa: Swaziland makes a reckless bid for legal rhino horn trade

Yesterday, it was revealed that Swaziland has submitted a proposal to CITES to allow the trade of its 330kg stockpile of rhino horn.

This comes just one week after South Africa announced that it would not be submitting a proposal for trade in rhino horn. Swaziland had planned to support this proposal and has submitted its own plan in its absence.

Swaziland’s proposal seeks to raise funds for the country’s rhino parks and anti-poaching measures.

However, according to the proposal Swaziland has suffered only three incidents of rhino poaching in the last 23 years, the latest being in 2014, which suggests current enforcement is working and the country need not turn to such a high-risk fundraising venture.

EIA’s investigations into the ivory and tiger trades have demonstrated time and again how legal trade stimulates demand, enables laundering of poached animals and undermines enforcement.

Moreover, Swaziland’s proposal could not work under international law – international commercial trade in rhino horn is banned under CITES and no legal buyer for Swaziland’s horn exists.

EIA urges Swaziland to immediately withdraw its reckless proposal and to focus on securing the survival of rhinos in the wild instead of putting a price tag on these threatened species.

Further, EIA advocates the destruction of all rhino horn stockpiles to eliminate risk of theft and leakage onto the black market, and to support an end to all demand for rhino horn.

More information on this story at:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/28/swaziland-unveils-plan-to-legalise-rhino-horn-to-pay-for-anti-poaching-efforts

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