Auctioneer fined for rhino horns and elephant tusks

Bruun Rasmussen fined 14,000 kroner for selling two horns and three tusks

The Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen was fined 14,000 kroner by Copenhagen City Court yesterday for listing two rhino horns and three elephant tusks for sale in 2011 without proper authorization, according to Ritzau. Bruun Rasmussen pulled the items after being notified that their sale was illegal, but that was not enough to avoid the fine. 

The prosecutor in the case was pushing for a 100,000 kroner fine, arguing that it was not the first time Bruun Rasmussen had ignored international rules on the sale of body parts of endangered animals. In 2012, the auctioneer was fined 50,000 kroner for selling a rhinoceros horn without permission. This put Bruun Rasmussen in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a 1975 multilateral treaty supported by Denmark. As part of yesterday's ruling, Ritzau reports that the 2012 fine was decreased to just 10,000 kroner.

According to the terms of CITES, all sales, import and export of species covered by the treaty have to be granted a licence.

The rhinoceros has been nearly hunted to extinction due to the value of the animal's horns on the black market. According to a Bloomberg report from 2012, the horns sell for around 550,000 kroner per kilo.