Australia to ban trading in rhino horn and ivory

While trading in rhino horn and ivory in South Africa is legal, Australia

Australian MP Jason Wood has just tabled a Parliamentary motion to ban it within its own borders, writes Adam Cruise. Wood says an Australian domestic trade ban “is about stopping illegal poaching and illegal trading in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn”. To be part of the solution Australia must “prohibit the domestic trade,” he said.

Wood’s motion was supported by most other members of parliament and a vote for a complete domestic ban will be held within a matter of weeks.

Australia has increasingly become a transit region for the illegal trade of ivory and rhinoceros horn. Australian Customs and Border Protection Services reportedly seize 7,000 wildlife items each year, mostly in the post and passenger environments.

Australia becomes the latest of several of the world’s biggest traders to call for a domestic ban.

The South African government earlier this year published draft legislation that would allow owners of horn to take two horns out of the country as personal property as long as they had the proper permit.

A few months later, the world’s largest rhino breeder, John Hume held an auction of his stockpiled rhino horn. He was granted a permit after the South African Constitutional Court lifted a 2009 moratorium on the domestic rhino horn trade. Unsurprisingly, the auction drew few bidders.


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