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WWF Statement on Record Rhino Poaching in Africa during 2015

In response to the record poaching of rhinos in Africa during 2015 announced by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of Wildlife Conservation:

“These numbers remind us that even with unprecedented global attention and efforts to stop wildlife crime, the battle is far from being won. Feverish demand for species and their parts, along with soft and poorly enforced penalties for poachers and traffickers, continue to make wildlife crime a low-risk, high-reward enterprise.

“Stopping the killing will require a multi-faceted approach that addresses poaching, trafficking, and demand. The focus should be on implementing effective conservation in Africa and ensuring robust enforcement in source, transit, and consumer countries, while simultaneously changing consumer behavior in Asia. Only when demand for rhino horn decreases will we see a decline in poaching.”