Online rhino auction set to open in South Africa.

by Fran on October 6, 2017 - 9:14pm

The buying and selling of ivory taken from rhino horns has always been a very popular activity throughout some countries. Recently in South Africa a site was approved that allowed for the auctioning of rhino horns on the internet. Authorities tried to withhold from issuing a permit but High Court had ended up siding with the organiser that goes by the name of John Hume. He is known as one of the biggest rhino famers in South Africa and he states that he regularly cuts off the rhinos’ horns and hopes to sell up to 264 horns during the auction. Although there was a lift on the ban of rhino horn trading in South Africa there is still an international ban that is in effect. Hume’s tries to argue that the only way to limit the amount of poaching that occurs is to meet the demands that the Asian market has through harvesting horns through farms like he does. Rhino horns are very valuable and can go for up to $60 000 per kilo and is sold in mostly powered form. Concern for the extinction of rhinos is so high because of the White rhinos going extinct and conservation efforts are trying to their best to keep them alive. Illegal or not it does not stop people from poaching these animals and trying to sell their horns. When auction sites like these are approved it raises the desire to obtain rhino horns in order to sell them so they can gain the money and power that comes along with it.

Ivory is seen as a very valuable resource that is known to be very expensive. With the use of rhino farming people believe that there can be a way to manage the population of rhinos and their horns as well as who and where the product is sold to. However, this is not the case as either way the rhino population will still suffer. It can be seen that there are many different conflicts within this situation such as conflict of value and behavioural conflict.  In terms of conflict of value, there is a drastic difference between what the authorities and conservationist think and what the rhino farmers think. Each group has a different idea of what should be done with the rhinos. Authorities believe that they should not be using rhinos as a means of gaining money and that they should be protected. Although the farmers believe that farming them as they are is what truly protects them because they farm them safely within their grounds. They believe that the economic value and importance of the ivory from the rhino horn is more important that keeping these animals safe. This is where the divide between these two parties exists. There is also a behavioural conflict that exists between the two parties as this has been an ongoing conflict between them. Since one side wants the use of rhino horns for ivory and the other wants to continue to sell them, this may cause their judgment to be clouded. According to the article there was not solution given to how they would stop the site from running. Very clearly it can be seen that the only real solution to this problem is to bring back the ban on the trading of rhino horns.


Jazeera, A. (2017, August 21). Online rhino horn auction set to open in South Africa.


Mitchell, B. (2015). Resource and environmental management in Canada. Don Mills, Ontario,

Canada: Oxford University Press. 

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