Rhino Reprieve: South African Trade Decision Averts Disaster; More Action Needed to Save the Species

NEW YORK — Today’s decision by South Africa to shelf its plan to lift the four decade ban on international trade in rhino horn was met with relief from experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC has been advocating against illegal wildlife trade for years, repeatedly meeting with South African officials on the topic of rhino horn and presented detailed analyses of the potentially disastrous consequences of legalizing the rhino trade.

Following is a statement from NRDC wildlife advocate Alex Kennaugh:

“Make no mistake; legalizing trade in rhino horn would have been nothing short of disaster for species that are just barely hanging on now as it is. The South African decision does not fix the plight of rhinos—but it gives space and time to tackle poaching, close down illegal markets and eliminate the loopholes that already help enable the $20 billion market in illegal international wildlife trade. South Africa bought more time for rhinos today—and should follow up with more key actions to keep these animals on the planet.”

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