The debate on whether or not we should allow international trade in rhino horn should have ended two years ago, when the South African National Biodiversity Institute – the scientific authority advising the Minister and establishing the vital fact base for decision-making – issued their CITES Non-Detrimental Findings in favour of trade as the key strategy for saving rhino from extinction, or thirty years earlier, when the most important rhino conservationists of the last 100 years – the old Natal Parks Board leadership of Dr. Ian Player, Dr. George Hughes, Dave Cook, and their team –told us that legal trade in rhino horn is a ‘must’ if we hope to save these animals for future generations. But it didn’t end, largely because the discussion is still plagued by myths about CITES bans and animal welfare concerns that are factually incorrect.
A more accurate view of the reality we face should clear the path to saving our rhino and our nation. Thus, our objective must be to sort fact from fiction, and to equip readers to make their own decisions, from an informed base.
Here you will find the 14 most prominent misconceptions, grouped by category into International Law, South African Law, Policy Concerns, Practicality, and Animal Welfare. Summaries are provided on this page, with detailed discussion on each point found through the links provided.