Monday, March 5, 2018

"Want to buy some rhino horn? Log in here, DNA required"

This ties in to the fish provenance story we visited yesterday, some links below.

From Reuters:
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African ranchers launched an online market for rhino horn on Monday, saying the open trade would help squeeze poachers out of the business.

Dealers have been able buy and sell the horns of South African rhinos legally inside the country since a court lifted a moratorium on domestic trade last year - though a global U.N. ban means none of it can be exported. 

The Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA) said its new trading system would help people know they were buying horn taken from rhinos in South Africa legally and humanely. 

“Every rhino horn offered for sale ... must possess a DNA certificate. Genetic profiling is the key control in establishing the provenance of every rhino horn on offer. By this mechanism no ‘blood’ horn is able to enter the market.”...MUCH MORE
Izabella Kaminska's Alphaville post "Tuna blockchains and Chilean Seabass" back in 2016 was the first time I saw someone mention the pluses and minuses of using blockchain databases to keep track of animals, in that case fish.

I was so taken with her illustration for that post that I swiped it for December 2017's "Synthetic Rhino Horns Are Being Created to Flood Markets and Eradicate Poaching":

Whichever approach is best will soon be determined in the market as long as we keep uppermost in mind the cause of the slaughter of the big beasts: 
September 5, 2016
Blame Rhino Killings On Speculators