Sunday, 22 November 2009

Rhino horn: a precious, marketable commodity?

In an article from Sind Today, it says that (Indian) rhino horn is more expensive than gold for the first time in a decade.

The present prices, according to Sind Today, are:
  • Indian rhino horn: $65.46 per gram
  • gold: $44.36 per gram
What is really shocking, though, is the revelation that Communist politicians in Vietnam actually support rhino poaching! I had always assumed that the wealth of politicians would eliminate the incentives provided by poverty to poach rhinos - but apparently this is not the case even though Vietnam's economy has recovered from 1980s hyperinflation.

Although political support for poaching of rhinos is not in my opinion as criminal as Australia's politicians support for wasteful freeways to appease a dictatorial road lobby, it is still something which the international community should take seriously. Even if sanctions against Vietnam are not justified, people should be wary of buying Vietnamese goods or visiting the country.

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