The potential of rhino horn farming

Illegal rhino poaching is increasing because of the high demand for horn from the increasingly wealthy Asian elite , according to Michael Murphree, a researcher at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North West University’s African Centre for Disaster Studies.

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However, SA communities stand to benefit from the implementation of legalised trade in rhino horn, said Murphree in a recent statement issued by the university.

“When a rhino is dehorned in a responsible manner, the horn grows back to its original length within two years,” he said.

“Rhino horn production creates an ideal economic opportunity for communities that were successful in land claims or have land at their disposal. No form of agriculture will produce the same yield per hectare as rhino farming.

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“We need to be resourceful and creative and find new and innovative ways to protect the rhino. Outdated ideas such as the blanket trade bans have clearly failed,” said Murphree.