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        <h1>Myth of Rhino Dehorning Chapter 2: Flood The Market</h1>

        <h2>The Unstoppable Demand for Rhino Horn</h2>

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        <time class=”op-published” datetime=”2016-07-23T010:30:16Z”>July 23th, 10:30 AM</time>

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        <time class=”op-modified” dateTime=”2016-07-23T010:30:16Z”>July 23th, 10:00 AM</time>

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          <a rel=”facebook” href=”http://facebook.com/andrew.vanginkel”>Amanda Baret</a>

    Amanda is an animal activist        </address>

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          <a>TR Vishwanath</a>

          Vish is a scholar and a gentleman.

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        In South Africa a war is raging against the complex illegal rhino horn trafficking industry. An intense debate about whether to farm rhino for their horn, presides.  In other words, should the sale of rhino horn be legalized? There are two camps. On the one side there are animal activists who are against animals being used for commercial purposes (the No-Traders), and on the other side, farmers (the Pro-Traders), who wish to harvest the rhino horn and sell it in order to satisfy the demand from Asian countries </h3>

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<h2>The Animal Activists</h2>

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      <p> Animal activists and wildlife conservationists want to see all wild rhino in their natural habitat and are against the concept of farming them. The definition of Wildlife  <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_conservation”>conservation</a> : “Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting wild plant and animal species and their habitats. The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure that nature will be around for future generations to enjoy and also to recognize the importance of wildlife and wilderness for humans and other species alike.”.

      </p>

      <p>

In order to conserve wildlife in their natural habitat, the correct balance of species must be maintained in order to conserve the habitat for that area. 

        </p>

      <h2>Rhino Farmers</h2>

      

      <p>Rhino farmers’ intentions are to harvest the horn every 18 months. They hope to use the revenue from the sale of the horn for the ongoing benefit and protection of rhino. The argument is that farming rhino will ensure the species survives extinction. Pro-traders hope to produce enough rhino horn that will feed the demand of the east legally, flood the market, thereby eliminating the syndicates and the need to slaughter rhino</p>

      

      <p>This argument holds a lot of weight given that the war against powerful syndicates, local corruption and greed seems to be failing dismally.

      </p>

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          <img src=”http://saffr.co.za/images/Sawing.jpg” />

          <figcaption>Dawie Groenewald in court with wife, Sariette and others</figcaption>

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        <h2>The Real truth</h2>

       <p>

Wildlife trafficking is notoriously steeped in complexity and blurring of the truth. We are naïve to think that a simple solution will defeat the faceless immeasurable shadow of the enemy.

The demand for horn is potentially infinite

The farming of rhino will play into the syndicate’s marketing strategy of using peer pressure to entice new users.

Legalizing rhino horn trade will prove to users that the medicinal benefits are real as it will be sold as a legitimate product

Pro-trader’s are calling for legalizing the rhino horn locally. Many see this as a ruse as there is no market for rhino horn locally. Furthermore, there are well established networks that exist to remove rhino horn from this country illegally. If rhino horn trade is legalized locally, then it will be impossible to ensure that all those who purchased horn locally, have not sold it on into the international illegal market. At the enormous price tag on a rhino horn, it is hard to imagine that the temptation will not be there to do so.

 </p>

      

      <h2>What Farming Will Actually Mean to Wild Rhino  </h2>

      <p>

Rhino farming is not wildlife conservation. If there are large numbers of rhino being farmed, then there can be no other animal species in the same area. There will be no balance of species on a rhino farm. The rhino’s natural habitat cannot be sustained in this way. 

       </p>

      

      <p>Once an animal becomes a commercial commodity, history has proved without fail that those animals will be exploited. There is no commercial animal alive that is not exploited. Many current private rhino game farmers care for their rhino, even know them by name. However, once commercial rhino farming begins, their exploitation will too. 

      </p>

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          <figcaption>Dawie Groenewald in court with wife, Sariette and others</figcaption>

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       <p>

White rhino  <a href=”http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/black-rhinoceros/”>feed</a> on grasses, black rhino feed on trees and bushes. If there are only rhino in a particular area, and their numbers are too high for that area, then all the available nourishment will be depleted too quickly as they will all be feeding off the same type of bush, or grass. The end result will most likely be that rhino will be manually fed by mechanical feeders similar to those found on cattle farms. There will no longer be enough available natural habitat for them to feed on.

         </p>

     

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          <img src=”http://saffr.co.za/images/Feeding.jpg” />

          <figcaption>Dawie Groenewald in court with wife, Sariette and others</figcaption>

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      <p>

 They will be restricted to small enclosures in isolation. Rhino demonstrate territorial behavior. There is a limit to how many competing males can co-exist in a given area. If this number is exceeded they will compete for territory, sometimes  injuring or <a href=”http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/index.php?s=1&act=refs&CODE=note_detail&id=1165252726″>killing</a> each other.

</p>

      

      <p>As it will be impossible to for rhino to exist in their natural habitat, the practice of artificial insemination will also be applied.

      </p>

      

      <p>Furthermore, the reason for farming rhino is to produce a substance that is not a true medical source. There is no medical benefit to using rhino horn in humans. This means that farming rhino will in essence support and encourage a false industry based on marketing lies and myth.

      </p>

      

      <p>Considering this bleak future for farmed rhino, all animal activists and conservationists are against rhino farming.

      </p>

      <h2>What we need to Flood the Market

      </h2>

      <p>The phrase “lets flood the market” has been used repeatedly as a quick cure-all for the problem of rhino poaching. It is common belief that if there is enough rhino horn to supply the vast Vietnamese and Chinese markets the problem will go away.

      </p>

      

      <p>Economically speaking, flooding the market requires specific circumstances. The diamond industry presents these scenarios. It is well known that there are more diamonds than in circulation, The number of diamonds are strictly controlled simply to control the price. If all the diamonds that exist today had to become available tomorrow, then the price would drop dramatically and all existing diamonds would lose their value. The diamond market would collapse. This is dictated by the <a href=”http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Supply.html”>economic law</a> of supply and demand. 

      </p>

      

      <p>This is true of the oil price at the moment too. The oil price has dropped dramatically due to to the surge in supply of oil due to fracking.

      </p>

      <p>This law applies to rhino horn. However, as the supply will always be limited, and the demand is infinite. The equilibrium required to “Flood The Market” cannot be achieved.

      </p>

      <p>Currently rich and successful businessmen use rhino horn as a <a href=”https://www.vietnambreakingnews.com/2016/07/victims-of-useless-potions-and-empty-gestures/”>status symbol</a>.  Humans are social creatures who cannot thrive without socially fitting in and behaving in a manner that is acceptable to their peers. We take our cue from successful people. It is normal human behavior to copy the habits of these role models. If successful role models are using rhino horn, then one can make the assumption that Vietnamese who look up to these people will see horn usage as a way to be accepted, to be considered successful, to improve their chances. 

      </p>

      

      <h2>The Infinite Market </h2>

      

      <p>There are 94 million <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Vietnam”>Vietnamese</a> alive to day. Of those, in 2016, 32,247,358 live in <a href=”http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/vietnam-population/”>Urban</a> areas. Reasonable speaking, let us assume that these urbanites are eligible for the rhino horn market. 98 % are adults. 95 % are educated. Over the past decade an <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Vietnam”>average</a> of 70 % of the population is between the ages of 15-64.

      </p>

      <p>From this data we can guesstimate the potential market for rhino horn usage. Of 32 247 358 urbanites, 70 % are adults, 95 % are are educated. This brings us to a number of 21 444 493 people. 

      </p>

      <p>If the price of rhino horn drops as a result of increased supply, then millions more Vietnamese are likely to enter the market for rhino horn.

 </p>

      <h2>Usage  </h2>

      <p>Two grams of the horn is used in a single <a href=”http://www.rhinosinfo.com/rhino-horn-as-medicine.html”>dose</a>. 

</p>

      <p>African rhinos have a pair of horns and in the case of the white rhino, the biggest and by far the most numerous of the two species on the continent, their average combined <a href=”http://www.reuters.com/article/ozatp-africa-money-idAFJOE83P03N20120426″>weight</a> is usually close to 6 kgs, researchers say.

The average weight of both horns on the smaller black rhino is about 2.5 kgs but over 90 percent of the poaching incidents involve white rhinos. Taking a conservative value, one rhino produces 4 kg of horn on average.

</p>

      <p><a href=”http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160121-rhino-poaching-statistics-South-Africa-trade-lawsuit/”>1175</a> rhino were poached in South Africa in 2015. On average each rhino has horns weighing approximately 4kg. This equates to 4700 kg of horn poached in 2015.

      </p>

      

      

      <p>4 700 000 g per year, at a dose of 2g/day is 2 350 000 doses per year. This means that 6438 doses of rhino horn were produced, per day, in 2015.

      </p>

      <h2>How Much Do We Need to Flood the Market?

      </h2>

      

      

      <p>Rhino horn is the new <a href=”http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/smart-news/in-vietnam-rhino-horn-is-the-drug-of-choice-at-both-parties-and-hospitals-29038205/”>party drug</a> in Vietnam. The belief that rhino horn makes on feel better, coupled with the fact that there is no basis for this in medical science, we can conclude that taking rhino horn has become a <a href=”http://www.rehabs.com/pro-talk-articles/the-psychological-basis-of-addiction/”>psychological addiction</a> on a cultural level. As an addiction it is reasonable to assume that a rhino horn user will take a dose each day. At the rate of poaching in 2015, this means that only 6 438 people in Vietnam can afford to take rhino horn each day.

      </p>

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          <img src=”http://saffr.co.za/images/Party.jpg” />

          <figcaption> Pseudo-hunter/Rhino Poacher</figcaption>

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     <p>How much would we need to feed the masses?

      </p>

      <p>Given our calculation that there are potentially 21 444 493 people in Vietnam alone who are waiting to become part of the rhino horn usage movement. 

 </p>

      <p>21 444 493 people taking 2gm per day means that 42 888 986 grams will be needed per day.

      </p>

      

      <p>42 888 986 gm over a period of 12 months means that a total of 15 654 479 kg of rhino horn will be become available each year to satisfy the market’s potential hunger.

      </p>

        

        <p>As the average rhino has horn weighing 4 kg, this means we need 3 913 619 rhino per year to meet the markets needs.

      </p>

      

      <p>As a rhino, if harvested, can only produce one set of horns every 18 months, we need to increase this number of rhino to be farmed to 5 870 428 million rhino.

      </p>

      

      <h2>5 million 8 hundred and 70 thousand, 4 hundred and 28 rhino to be farmed annually in South Africa!!!

      </h2>

      

      <p>Furthermore, a harvested horn is cut 40 mm above the base of the horn. The base has a much wider girth, thereby contributing significant part of the weight. </p>

      

       <p>This exercise is not meant to accurately calculate how many rhino will be need to be farmed in order to flood the market. The objective is to demonstrate the enormity of the volumes that need to be considered when taking the view that farming rhino will satiate the market.

</p>

      

       <p>Farming rhino has the potential to unleash an unstoppable market of infinite proportions. There are 5 billion Chinese, whose culture has considered rhino horn to be of benefit for hundreds of years. 

</p>

      

      <p>South Africa will send a very powerful message to the Asian world if we begin farming rhino with the purpose of selling the horn to satisfy the market. The message will confirm that we believe that rhino horn has medicinal benefit. The message will ratify the claim that horn has active ingredients. The message will negate the work that has been done to change and educate potential rhino horn users in Korea, Vietnam and China that rhino horn is inert and will result in the extinction of all rhino.

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        <aside>Key References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_conservation

          http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/black-rhinoceros/

http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/index.php?s=1&act=refs&CODE=note_detail&id=1165252726

          http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Supply.html

          https://www.vietnambreakingnews.com/2016/07/victims-of-useless-potions-and-empty-gestures/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Vietnam

        http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/vietnam-population/

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Vietnam

          http://www.rhinosinfo.com/rhino-horn-as-medicine.html

          http://www.reuters.com/article/ozatp-africa-money-idAFJOE83P03N20120426

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160121-rhino-poaching-statistics-South-Africa-trade-lawsuit/

          http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/smart-news/in-vietnam-rhino-horn-is-the-drug-of-choice-at-both-parties-and-hospitals-29038205/

          http://www.rehabs.com/pro-talk-articles/the-psychological-basis-of-addiction/

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        <small>Written without prejudice</small>

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