HSI calls on auction house to withdraw rhino horns
Humane Society International (HSI) has today called on Lawsons auctioneers to withdraw two black rhino horns from their auction due to take place this Friday 14th November, and commit to holding no further sales of products from elephants or rhinos.
While the export and import of rhino horns dated from the 1950s is now banned in Australia following an August announcement by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP, there is no ban on the sale or possession of these items.
Demand for rhino horn in international trade has increased significantly in recent years, especially for use in traditional east Asian medicine, where it is ground down to powder and used to treat various illnesses and also has more recently been touted as a hangover cure. Continuing sales simply promotes demand.
Black rhinos are critically endangered with less than 5,000 remaining in the wild, and it is the demand for rhino horn products that is driving their decline. The situation with elephant products is no different, with wild African populations subject to intense poaching efforts simply for their tusks which are also used in traditional Asian medicine.
“The latest reports out of South Africa are telling us that at least 900 rhinos have been killed so far this year in South Africa,” said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove. “The demand for rhino and elephant products is unstoppable and unsustainable so it is essential that all countries take action to help to reduce demand by not selling these products.”
“Despite our repeated attempts to contact Lawsons auctioneers, it is clear that their sole motive is for the potential profit from sales that are estimated to bring in tens of thousands of dollars per piece. This drive for a short term profit will result in the long term loss of rhinos and elephants – a simply unacceptable price to pay,” continued Ms Wellbelove.
“HSI is calling on Lawsons and all other auctioneers and online sites to implement a ban on the sale of rhino and elephant products. We truly believe this is the only way to ensure the future of these important animals, and it is essential action is taken now before numbers decrease even further,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
HSI has written to Lawsons auctioneers twice since we first became aware of the products for sale in August 2014. So far we have received no response. HSI has also alerted the Federal Environment Department to the sale of these items.