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Destroying Nature in the Name of Dubious Art Taste and Medicinal Superstition
The 61st meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) concluded in Geneva on 19 August 2011 with important decisions made to ensure the survival of elephants, rhinoceroses, and other species. Such a move comes after numerous reports confirmed that these species are quickly vanishing as consumers in the Far East grow wealthier and buy expensive sculptures and jewellery made of carved ivory to show their social status, or buy potions containing powdered rhinoceros horns believed to have medicinal effects. The reports also illustrate the brutal torture of elephants and rhinoceroses to remove tusks and horns, leaving them severely maimed for life or, in most cases, dead after hours or days of agonising pain. Furthermore, as a consequence of growing without their adult parents, younger elephants and rhinoceroses have been reported to grow mentally unstable leading to developing violent behaviour towards other animals and humans.
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