The world’s biggest rhino farmer is attempting to sell approximately two tons of rhino horn from his 1,200 farmed rhinos in an online auction in South Africa this week. These charismatic animals are kept in large groups and periodically have their horns sawn off to supply gullible consumers who believe the powdered horn has medicinal properties.
The South African Department of Environmental Affairs has approved the permit for the auction, but there’s still time for us to stop the government from issuing permits to potential buyers.
The farmer has posted a website with Vietnamese and Chinese versions in a clear attempt to reach Asian consumers. There is a significant risk that horns sold at this auction, even if purchased legally in South Africa, may end up being trafficked to Asian consumer markets by criminal groups.
This auction threatens to increase demand in Asian countries and thereby spur increased poaching in Africa. The South African government needs to know the world does not support this.