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HONG KONG: Sotheby’s on Saturday became the latest international auction house to end the sale of rhino horn artefacts, withdrawing antique lots from an upcoming event in Hong Kong following an outcry from environmental groups. The auction house had been due to put three lots of rhinoceros horn under the hammer at a sale next week.

“The company will no longer offer rhino horn artefacts in the future,” Nicolas Chow, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia said in a statement. “Sotheby’s deplores any illegal slaughter and trading of endangered wildlife, and strongly supports conservation efforts from the global community.” The decision comes after Bonhams cancelled its sale in Hong Kong of 21 lots of rhino horn carvings, valued at $3.87m according to Humane Society International, following mounting pressure.

The decision came after 37 wildlife conservation organisations wrote to the company demanding it cancel the auction and stop future sales. An online petition describing the Bonhams sale as unethical had been signed by more than 10,000 people. Christie’s had already banned rhino horn items at its auctions.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2018