Breaking! Auction Houses China Guardian, Sotheby’s & Bonhams Ban Sale Of Rhino Horn Products; Urge Poly Auction To Do The Same!

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Following last week’s move by auction houses Sotheby’s and Bonhams, China Guardian announced today that it has become the latest auction house to globally ban the sale of rhino horn items.

China Guardian Hong Kong fully supports and complies with international laws in relation to the protection of the rhinoceros,” the company shared in a post on its Facebook page. “We confirm that no rhinoceros horn artifacts will be offered in the future.”

The decision leaves Poly Auction as the only one of Hong Kong’s five big auction houses not to have announced a ban on rhino horn.

“Canceling the sale of rhino horn sends a clear signal from Bonhams and Sotheby’s that rhino horn is worth more on the rhino than as an artifact on an auction block,” John Baker, Managing Director of WildAid said yesterday in a statement. Baker then called on China Guardian Auctions and Poly Auction, the last two of Hong Kong’s five major auction houses, “to do their part to save this vulnerable species.”

Last week, after 37 global wildlife conservation organizations signed a letter urging Bonhams to cancel its rhino horn auction scheduled for November 27th and to remove rhino horn items from their salesrooms permanently, Bonhams Global CEO Matthew Girling announced that all 21 rhino horn items would be taken off the November auction block, as well as from all future auctions.

“Bonhams stands behind the professionalism and expertise of its specialists,” Girling said in a statement. “We do however, recognize there are widely held concerns about this issue and have decided that the sale of the rhino carvings will now not take place. In the future, Bonhams will not offer artifacts made entirely or partly from rhinoceros’ horn in its salerooms.”

Shortly after Girling’s statement, Sotheby’s also announced that they would withdraw rhino horn items from their upcoming sale on November 29th.

“The company will no longer offer rhino horn artifacts in the future,” Sotheby’s said in a statement over the weekend. “Sotheby’s deplores any illegal slaughter and trading of endangered wildlife and strongly supports conservation efforts from the global community.”

Thousands of rhinos have been poached for their horns in the past ten years, most of them in South Africa. Despite spending millions of dollars on protective measures, the country continues to lose rhinos at an alarming rate. CITES and other global wildlife bodies have recognized that reducing demand for wildlife products is the key to protecting them.

Prominent auction house Christie’s already has a ban of rhino horn in place.

May this trend continue to be the catalyst for auction houses around the world to stop selling products made from any animal parts or endangered species.

Please contact Poly Auction House in Hong Kong and urge them to stop selling rhino horn products. The phone number is 852 2303 9899. Email: info@polyauction.com.hk.

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