Conservationists Pushed Ban on Non-Fatal Rhino Horn Harvesting. Poaching Skyrocketed.
Today’s environmental activists are so hostile to capitalism that they end up killing animals they want to protect.
Like the African rhinoceros.
Poachers kill them to get their horns, which can sell for as much as $300,000. Poachers mostly sell in China and Vietnam, to people who carve them into ornaments or sell them as aphrodisiacs. By the way: The aphrodisiacs don’t work.
When I started Stossel TV, my first video covered one man’s attempt to reduce rhino poaching by flooding the market with fake horns.
Matthew Markus argued that his 3D printed rhino horn would reduce demand for real horns.
“One way to devalue something is to create a lot of it,” he explained. “When things are abundant, people don’t fight, kill or steal.”
True. Bootleggers and Al Capone’s thugs disappeared when America ended Prohibition.
South Africa, home to the largest number of rhinos, once tried something similar. For 20 years, they allowed people to own rhinos and sell their horns. Rhino farmers put the rhinos to sleep with tranquilizer darts, sawed off their horns (the horns grow back) and sold the horn.
Farmers had an incentive to protect rhinos. South Africa’s rhino population quadrupled.
But in 2009, under pressure from “environmental” groups, South Africa banned sales of horn again.
The sad result: Poaching increased sharply. Poachers also killed park rangers who tried to protect rhinos.
So, I confronted Ma
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