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Under the hammer

There has been much controversy surrounding the legalisation of the rhino horn trade in South Africa. Adam Cruise discusses the reasons for and against this seemingly reckless move

Earlier this year, the world’s largest rhino breeder, John Hume, held a three-day auction for his stockpiled rhino horn. Hume, who owns more than 1500 rhinos, was granted a permit after the South African Constitutional Court lifted a 2009 moratorium on the domestic rhino horn trade.

But, with over a thousand rhino being poached for their horns in South Africa annually, it may seem disingenuous for Hume to further expedite the freeflowing demand from Asia. Rhino horn is sought after in Vietnam and China for traditional medicine purposes and, increasingly, as carved objects in the form of jewellery, trinkets and figurines.

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