UK seals deal over rhino horn trade
Sunday 21 August 2011
Britain has secured international agreement to clamp down on the illegal trade of rhino horn, which has become so sought after it is now worth more than diamonds, gold, heroin and cocaine.
The UK will lead a global steering group to dispel the myths that rhino horn can cure cancer or help with strokes, which are fuelling demand for it in Asia so much that it is now worth £50,000 a kilo.
Countries and conservation groups across the world will also work together by sharing intelligence, policing tactics and public awareness campaigns against the illegal trade.
The agreement was reached at the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "Criminals trading in rhino horn have lined their pockets while bringing this magnificent animal to the brink of extinction, but their days are now numbered.
"We will be leading global action to clamp down on this cruel and archaic trade, and to dispel the myths peddled to vulnerable people that drive demand for rhino products."
There has been a significant increase in the number of rhino killed in countries such as South Africa since 2010, in what conservationists are warning is a "poaching crisis", along with a rise in demand for rhino horn.
The UK will now support a workshop in South Africa in September to help develop better co-operation between countries where rhinos are poached and countries where their horns are sold.
Last September, after the UK's Animal Health agency detected a rise in the number of rhino horn products being sold through auction houses in the country, it issued a warning that it would be refusing almost all applications to export such items from the UK.
It was feared that the legal export of "worked items", such as ornaments, created and acquired before June 1947, was being used to send rhino horn to Asia, where it is powdered and used for medicinal purposes. The trade could stimulate the market for products from the endangered animal, fuelling poaching, officials said.
Under rules brought in for the UK and then backed by the EU, export licences are now only granted if the item is of such artistic value it exceeds its potential value on the black market, it is part of a genuine exchange of goods between institutions such as museums, it has not been sold and is being taken as an heirloom by a family moving country or is part of a bona fide research project.
Greenpeace comes to the aid of Britain's small fishing vessels
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Nazi super cows: British farmer forced to destroy half his murderous herd of bio-engineered Heck cows after they try to kill staff
Brazil drought: It's a really dry January in the South American country, with rainfall is at its lowest level since 1930
Letters to a heretic: An email conversation with climate change sceptic Professor Freeman Dyson
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...