The Rhino Horn Trade Debate
(Photo : Land Rover)
INVESTEC STALLION DAY
3 July 2011
Stallion Day at Summerhill has always been something of a marquee event attracting people from across the globe with a shared love of the thoroughbred. This year though, is different, because it marks one the epochal moments in the history of South Africa’s best known stud farm. The Premier of KZN, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, presides over the formal opening of the Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence, the only school of its kind in the world, and the only facility like it on a stud farm. Our other honoured guest on the day is Dr. Ian Player, world famous for his conservation of the endangered rhino populations of the world, and a “Zulu” in the real sense of the word. These two celebrated sons of our region will be honoured by the Land Of Legends (www.landoflegends.co.za) for their contributions to life in our province, and their presence here marks a signal moment, not only for Summerhill, but for hospitality and tourism in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Dr. Ian Player was once again in the news this week, tirelessly battling for the future of the rhino. The Mercury reported this…
Fifty years after spearheading an international drive to save the white rhino from extinction, world-renowned wildlife conservationist Ian Player has set the cat among the pigeons by calling for an urgent national debate on whether to legalise the controlled trading of rhino horns.
Player - one of the central figures in the 1960’s Zululand battle to save the world’s last remaining white rhinos from extinction - suggested that re-opening legal trade in horns might be the only way to save the continent’s rhinos from the recent “catastrophic” wave of illegal rhino poaching by syndicates.
“Make no mistake, we are up against some very dark forces which threaten to overwhelm us,” he told business people at an anti-poaching fundraiser in Durban Tuesday.
Noting that powdered rhino horn had been used in Oriental traditional medicine for several thousand years, the 84-year-old wildlife ambassador said: “Nothing is going to stop the deep-seated belief systems in the Far East. So we need to debate in all possible forums the merits and demerits of selling these horns legall… In the end, it may be the only way to save the rhino.”
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