Save the Rhino Welcomes US Pledge on Horn Trade

AMHRW32 White rhinoLeading rhino charity Save the Rhino International (SRI) has today welcomed US president Barack Obama’s pledge to clampdown on the illegal trade in rhino horn.

‘It’s really encouraging to see the US government take such a pro-active role in clamping down on the illegal trade in wildlife products, following Hillary Clinton’s identification last December of the trade’s links with international terrorism,’ says Cathy Dean, director of SRI.

‘Tanzania, and Dar es Salaam in particular, is thought to be one of the major conduits for rhino horn and elephant ivory out of central and East Africa. Let’s hope that the US government’s attention to this issue provokes the Kenyan authorities to act in Mombasa, another major conduit,’ she adds.

The US campaign, launched on July 1, includes establishing a national strategy to curb the illegal, global trade of wildlife as well as earmarking $10 million to tackle rhino and elephant poaching in Africa in particular.

ACPP62 Anti-poaching patrol, Lewa ConservancyThe illegal trade, involving rhinos and other species, is now valued at between $7 billion to $10 billion a year. It’s officially one of the world’s top five illegal activities after drugs, human-trafficking, counterfeiting and arms and rhino horns, trading at around $30,000 per pound, are now worth more than their weight in gold.

This year South Africa alone has lost nearly 450 rhinos, meaning the country that is home to the bulk of Africa’s rhinos is on track for another record year of poaching.

The US move has also been welcomed by leading conservation charities including WWF and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

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