Nevertheless, demand for ivory and rhino horn continues, to the point that some individuals and groups have suggested that governments flood the market with existing ivory, to lessen its value.
South African officials from the Department of Environmental Affairs last year also commissioned a study to determine whether or not legalizing the trade in rhino horns could reduce poaching.
The idea has received widespread support from ranchers who are raising rhinos for their horns, wildlife safari hunts and for other purposes. Many of these ranchers have themselves been the victims of poachers, who have illegally killed rhinos and other animals on the ranches.
In defense of legalizing the rhino horn trade, Pelham Jones, a spokesman with the South Africa Private Rhino Owners Association, said, "What pays, stays. What is able to produce long-term economic yield will be protected and preserved."
Game reserve manager Alan Weyer also believes that current laws concerning the trade should be revisited. Weyer explained that as long as crime syndicates can continue to kill the animals and make money or earn valuable trade items from their efforts, poaching will continue.