Rhino horn thefts from European museums
We were extremely alarmed to hear about the recent spate of thefts of rhino trophy mounts from European museums. These incidents follow an identified increase in the prices being fetched for rhino trophy mounts in Auction houses across Europe which, at the beginning of 2011, led the UK’s Animal Health's WLRS, following European Commission guidance, to bring into force a ban on the sale of rhino horn trophies. The recent museum break-ins serve to highlight that the rhino poaching problem is not confined to Africa and Asia and that a high level of criminal activity pervades all aspects of this illegal trade. These thefts need to be treated as very serious crimes.