Earlier in January the moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn in South Africa was lifted after the Environmental Affairs Department lost an appeal application to keep the ban on rhino horn trade in place. This essentially makes the sale of rhino horn legal within South Africa’s borders.
And it seems rhino horn owners are already jumping at the opportunity, with rhino horns even advertised via public channels like Facebook.
Danie Coetzee recently posted on the group Rhino News that he had, “2 rhino horns for sale (one black, one white.)” His post on the group went on to say that the horns “are legally registered and microchipped horns (certified by KZN Wildlife). Set on a wall mounting of rhino skin.”
He asked for interested parties to message him directly for photos and sizes, claiming that the rhino were hunted in Umfolozi in the early 1900s. His post was met with outrage and criticism from some readers, forcing him to respond: “For the misinformed and uneducated ‘preservationists’ on this site: I am not asking for your opinion or comments. If you are interested, contact me.” And further: “Unfortunately arguing pure emotion with cold logic never really has any purpose. The emotional side is never going to pay any attention to what they do not want to hear. They will keep supporting money making NGOs who will keep playing on their emotions in order to maintain their influx of cash.”
On the other hand a number of commenters on his post wished him luck with the sale. John William Salevurakis said: “If it pays, it stays. Trade is the best bet to save these animals. Good luck with the sale!” And Lara Robertson, the owner of the Facebook group in question said: “I would like to see more of these posts… trade equates worth. Worth ensures survival. Anyone offended best get used to them…” Christian Jeurissen even asked him to share his post on another Facebook group calling for a legal trade in rhino horn.