Thursday, 26 December 2013

Legalising the trade in rhino horn and a wilderness of greed

Those backing a legalised trade also stand to make huge profits, like chief pro-trade protagonist John Hume. Hume breeds rhinos for pleasure he says, because he loves the creatures and wants to save them. He believes that farming rhinos and harvesting their horns to meet the rising demand in the Far East, which has fuelled the current rhino poaching crisis, is the only answer to preventing the extinction of Africa’s rhino. Hume is backed by some serious pro-trade muscle headed by economist Dawie Roodt.

Roodt has made his name in government finance and monetary policy and is a well-known media commentator on financial matters. Roodt doesn’t like rhinos. He doesn’t like laws either, especially ones which stop people like Hume from doing exactly what they like with their private property. Which is what he regards rhinos as – property. “Laws are silly things invented by politicians,” Roodt said in a recent public debate on the legalisation of rhino horn trade at the University of Pretoria.

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