Sotheby’s, one of the world’s top auction houses has stopped sales of rhino horn. Nicolas Chow, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia said that the auction house will also stop the sale of rhino horn artefacts.

“Sotheby’s deplores any illegal slaughter and trading of endangered wildlife, and strongly supports conservation efforts from the global community,” he said.

David Barritt, Network for Animals campaign director, welcomed the move after the auction house announced it had withdrawn three rhino horn lots from a sale in Hong Kong scheduled for later this month.

Barritt added, “This is a positive step. There is a growing realisation that unless we act now to do everything possible to stop the trade in rhino horn, these majestic creatures will be wiped from the face of the earth.”

Sotheby’s is the third high-profile auction house to ban rhino horn sales following mounting public pressure.

There are only about 5,000 African black rhino left in the world. Asian species of rhino have suffered even more, with 3,500 Indian one-horned rhinos left in Nepal, and India, fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos remain, while only about 60 Javan rhinos are left in the world. In South Africa, 501 white rhinos were poached in the first eight months of 2018.