Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Singapore Outlaws the Sale Of Rhino Horns



Singapore Outlaws the Sale Of Rhino Horns

Singapore Outlaws the Sale Of Rhino Horns

SINGAPORE (AP) - Responding to criticisms that it was a center for illegal

trade of endangered animal species, Singapore recently banned the sale of rhinoceros

horns and rhinoceros products.

The import and export of rhinoceros products has been prohibited since 1986, when

this city-state was pressured by the United States to join CITES, the Convention

on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora.

But people who already had rhinoceros horns or products were allowed to continue

selling existing stocks until Nov. 20, when the government banned all such sales

in response to a call by CITES to take stricter measures.

"The rhinoceros is one of the most endangered animals in the world. Illegal

trade, poaching and habitat destruction has hastened its decline in the wild,"

a government statement said.

CITES and other wildlife organizations "have identified market demand for its

horns as one of the main factors contributing to the continued poaching and wanton

killing of the rhinoceros," it said.

People convicted of violating the new ban can get fined up to 2,000 Singaporean dollars

(U.S. $ 1,227) and/or spend three months behind bars for selling, offering, or displaying

rhino products for sale.

Fewer than 2,000 black rhinoceros remain in Zimbabwe and other African countries-sharply

reduced from a 1970 population of 65,000-and wildlife experts say the animals are

close to extinction. Other African and Asian rhinoceros species are also endangered

because their horns are valued for traditional Asian medicines and dagger handles.

Rhinoceros horns were sold mainly in Chinese medicine shops. Flakes scraped from

the horns are sold to be cooked in a broth.

The horn of an African rhinoceros could sell for as much as U.S. $2,000 a kilo, with

some Asian horns fetching about U.S. $28,000 a kilo.

Beside the black rhinoceros, there are about 5,500 white rhinoceros in Africa, and

three varieties of Asian rhinos found in much smaller numbers in Nepal and on the

Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.

After years of delay, Singapore signed with CITES in 1986 only after Washington imposed

a ban on the import of all fish and wildlife exports from this island republic, including

tropical aquarium fish.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said at the time it was protesting Singapore's

refusal to comply with CITES and hampering U.S. efforts to eliminate trade in endangered

species. It accused Singapore of being a major trading center in such prohibited

items as rhinoceros horns.

The ban was lifted when Singapore signed the CITES treaty.

Two wildlife protection groups petitioned the U.S. government last week to impose

similar sanctions against China, Taiwan, South Korea and Yemen for allowing illegal

import of rhino horns.

The World Wildlife Fund and the National Wildlife Federation filed the petitions

in Washington on Nov. 14 with Interior Secretary Manual Lujan.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants