CoP18 Japan Ivory Infographic

China and the Illegal Rhinoceros Horn Trade: Deficiencies and Recommendations

An insatiable demand for rhino horn has driven a poaching crisis that has seen at least 7,100 rhinos slaughtered in Africa over the past decade. China has historically been a significant consumer of rhinoceros horn and is the primary destination for poached rhino horn today. Since 2006 1.42 metric tons of seized rhino horn have been linked to China, including Hong Kong, though this likely represents only a fraction of the total amount of rhino horn entering the country.

Given China’s outsized role in global rhino horn trafficking, it has an equally large responsibility to take proactive action to prevent poaching and illegal trade. China has shown that it can take the necessary steps to curb illegal trade in endangered wildlife when there is sufficient political will, such as with rhino horn in the 1990s and its newly implemented domestic ban on trade in elephant ivory.

The efforts of China and other CITES Parties to combat rhino poaching and illegal trade will be discussed at the 70th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from October 1-5.

Read EIA’s recommendations for China and CITES Parties regarding China’s role in stopping the poaching of rhinos and illegal trade in their horn.