8. WOULD PRESSURE ON WILD RHINOS REDUCE IN A LEGAL TRADE ENVIRONMENT?

If horn was made readily available through a controlled legal supply from farmed rhinos, would take the pressure off wild populations in national parks and other conservation areas?

NO TRADE

It might, but the opposite might also happen. A second market could emerge if horn from wild rhinos is perceived to be more effective or potent than “farmed” horn.

The farming of bears for their bile (also used in CTM) provides an example. Despite offering an alternative to trapping wild bears, the harvesting of wild bears continues, partly because there is a willingness to pay a premium for their bile. This suggests that the introduction of farmed rhino horn could well stimulate demand for the wild product.

PRO TRADE

There are already some 6,300 rhinos on privately owned land. The intensive management of these herds in terms of regular dehorning means that over the lifetime of each rhino, it would produce as much as eight times the amount of horn than would a wild rhino poached once (and killed in the process). 

As stated earlier, this harvested horn, together with horn from stockpiles, sold through a tightly regulated process would be more than enough to supply demand, create returns for rhino breeders and national coffers, and provide funding for more intensive rhino protection.

It stands to reason, therefore, that a sustainable legal trade would take the pressure off wild rhinos, leading to a significant reduction in rhino poaching.