Legalising the legal trade of Rhino horn and Elephant ivory in Namibia to other countries

Legalising the legal trade of Rhino horn and Elephant ivory in Namibia to other countries

17 April 2015

We would like to hear from you. What do YOU think of the below reasoning:

This is our second revision at 12:00 GMT 18 April 2015:

  • Legalizing the trade of Rhino horn and Elephant ivory in Namibia to other countries:
    • South Africa is putting a proposal forward to the Convention of the International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (C.I.T.E.S.) in 2016 to legalize the trade of specifically Rhino horn internationally.
    • Namibia has in the past been allowed to sell stockpiles of Government Elephant ivory. Last permission was granted by C.I.T.E.S. in October 2008.
      • In the case of the trade in Rhino horn:
        • In line with Namibia’s constitution: Article 95 (l) stipulates that the state shall actively promote and maintain… by adopting policies which include the: “maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefits of all Namibians…”. With this particular Article, Namibia is obliged to protect its environment and to promote a sustainable use of its natural resources.
        • Rhino horn is a resource that can be harvested on a sustainable basis. De-horned Rhino continue to live their lives once their horn is cut off and the horn will regrow.
          • This will dramatically increase the value of live Rhino populations in Namibia.
          • The Government of Namibia as well as private individuals have huge stockpiles of Rhino horn.
        • In the case of the trade of Elephant ivory:
          • The Government of Namibia has huge stockpiles of Elephant ivory that has been picked up in Elephant ranges where Elephant have died of natural causes.

Kenya ivory 2Kenya ivory 1

  • The ability to make this scarce resource available without impacting the species, through the implementation of a regulated trade system.
    • The above available assets are worth multiple millions of foreign currency. Right now they have now value.
  • The above points will reduce the pressure on wild populations.
  • By flooding the market with Rhino horn and Elephant ivory Namibia and its people will benefit in the following ways:
    • Generate revenue for the country and private individuals.
    • Increase the value of live animals on state land, conservancies and private owners of these species as well as landowners in Namibia.
    • Increase Namibia’s foreign-exchange earnings.
    • Increase tourism to Namibia by having more of these species.
    • Raise funds for anti-poaching initiatives and security of Rhino and Elephant populations.
      • Increase current ranges of these to species.
      • We want more viable populations in the wild for the benefit of Namibia and its citizens.
      • Create more employment for Namibia.
    • The legal trade of Rhino horn and Elephant ivory is not going to stop poaching by it self. It is the correct balance of approaches that is going to make this part of a working solution.
    • The way things are set up now, poachers and illegal traders have much stronger incentives and more money at their disposal to kill Rhino and Elephant than individual owners and custodians have to protect them.

Horn cut off by poachers while still alive
Poached herd of Elephant Another Rhino slaughtered Calf morns Mother Rhino's slaughter

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4 Responses

  1. Rick Nordling says:

    There is NO question that this is the ONLY alternative that will stem the tide of poaching both Rhino and Elephants. By dumping or flooding the market with collected horns and tusks it would not only drive the price down but reducing the profits in the illicit trade which now exists in the Far East, namely Vietnam and China.
    The Cities Commission needs to recognize this alternative to the complete ban in ivory and horn otherwise both the rhino and elephant population will be decimated in short order as has taken place in Kenya since the ban on hunting in the mid 1970s.

  2. With all respect, my opinion is that most of the arguments you listed to increase the number of rhinos are not realistic and so discrepant with scientific and mathematical data to obtain the opposite result.
    Just to mention the most relevant:
    The procedure to de-horn rhinos is lengthy, dangerous for the animal’s health and expensive.
    The horns collected, in any case, will never be sufficient to ‘flood the market’ or even fill demand.
    Selling the stockpiles for conservation is a good proposal but only if corruption is suppressed and many more people are deployed to protect the animals. To do this it is not necessary to legalize the trade which will merely increase ten fold the loopholes favouring illegal traffic.
    I would venture to say that the idea to control and regulate a rhino horn market is naive (e.g. ivory).
    I would rather aim to higher targets: to upgrade wildlife trafficking to the rank of narco-terror crimes.
    By focusing on priorities: Adding value to Intelligence collection; Developing international cooperation; Accepting international responsibility; Deploying special Army units.
    To capitalize on this unique opportunity in history in which the international community is looking for consistent, dynamic and timely leadership in going after the omnipresent criminal organizations that traffic in wildlife.
    Last but not least : endangered species not to be considered a ‘resource to be harvested’ but to increase tourism, employment, education.
    Francesco Nardelli

    • jlsafaris says:


      What about all the stock-piles of Rhino horn and Elephant ivory in government stores and private possession? Will releasing these products not give us the gap we need to catch up and pull our socks up in the anti-poaching effort as well as raise much needed funds for these activities?

      Regards, Jofie

  3. Dale says:

    Dear Jofie

    My imediate response is . I back this proposal 100% , the world needs to know that banning the trade in the products of these two key species is counter productive yes flood the market decrease the black market that is what is needed.

    Poaching will never stop however , destroying these resorted is counter productive .

    I am going to try lobby for the same system in Zim

    Jofie send me a PM if you will with your proposed structures and I will be sure to lay it on the correct desk here . As I see it vital that all SA countries need to lobby together .

    Best regards Donza

Photography by: Jofie Lamprecht