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Rhino Horn Farming: Is It Viable? Is It Ethical?

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In a controversial plan to legally sell rhino horn, from farmed and sustainably raised rhinos, John Hume campaigns for legalization of his trade.

John Hume is the largest private breeder of rhinos worldwide. And he wants to legally sell rhino horn.

Now before you get offended at the thought of selling rhino horn, hear him out. Firstly, Hume removes the horn and leaves the animal unharmed and uninjured. Rhinos are caught, blindfolded, and their horns sawn from their faces. They are then released, to regrow their horns.

Hue’s goal is to breed 200 rhinos a year. When he first got into rhino breeding, he cut off all the horns from his rhinos to discourage poachers. It worked, initially. For the first two or three years, he says, there was no poaching. But then it crept back in. Why? Because a rhino’s horn is much like a fingernail; it grows back.

Apparently a rhino horn can regrow 10 to 15 times over the course of a rhino’s life.

Hume is up against animal rights people though, who take issue with his wanting to sell the rhino horn legally. He has a full-time veterinarian, a vet’s nurse, managers and admin personnel. He also claims that security costs for his preserve are running him close to $250,000 a month. He claims that he needs to cover those costs by selling rhino horn.

“Why can you shear a sheep, and sell the wool,” he asks, “and not take the rhino’s horns off, and sell the horn and keep the rhino?”

But those against legal rhino horn selling claim that rhino horn farming will increase poaching.

Hume disagrees. “If I’m able to sell my sustainable product, I will keep the poachers away,” he declares. “If I can’t, I will fail to keep them away.”

He declares that those who are against him legally selling his horns to cover the costs associated with his project are worse than the poachers. “The anti-legal trader is more of an enemy to my rhinos, than the actual poacher.”

What do you think? Should Hume be able to legally sell his rhino horn or not?

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

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Rhino Horn Farming: Is It Viable? Is It Ethical?