HSI supports Commonwealth move to toughen rhino protection measures
Today, Humane Society International (HSI) gave its strong support to the announcement by Environment Minister Greg Hunt, instituting measures to better control the potential trade in rhino horn to and from Australia.
HSI Director Michael Kennedy said that, “The pressure on the remaining wildlife populations of rhino in Africa, India and S. E. Asia is such that all efforts must be made to stop rhino horn being trafficked. Even the export of one antique horn from Australia onto south east Asia markets further promotes and encourages trade, perpetuating this devastating cycle of killing.”
HSI has been proposing such conservation measures to the Minister’s office for some time now, and the move to strengthen controls is very welcome, sending a signal to all would-be smugglers that Australia will not tolerate such trade.
Mr Kennedy noted that, “This move closes a legal loophole where rhino horn secured or owned before the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES) came into force in Australia, were completely exempt from controls. Australia now maintains some of the toughest wildlife export/import controls in the world.”
HSI also supports a number of wildlife anti-poaching programs in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, benefiting a range of threatened animals, including rhinos.
Mr Kennedy concluded that, “It is very important that Australia play a crucial role in helping to curb the burgeoning illegal wildlife trade, providing support to national, regional and global anti-wildlife trade initiatives. HSI would welcome further discussion with the Commonwealth on how NGOs and Government can better work together to fight this chronic threat to the world’s biological diversity.”