January 15, 2014
New Bus Ads Target Demand for Rhino Horn
Beginning on 15th January, 05 buses travelling popular routes in Ha Noi will carry advertisements that explain that buying, selling or transporting rhino horns in Viet Nam is illegal and that violators can be punished by serving up to seven years in prison. CITES Management Authority of Vietnam, in cooperation with Humane Society International, launched the new advertisements in an effort to reduce rhino horn demand in Viet Nam.
Only about 28,000 rhinos are left in the wild. Two of the five species are in Africa and the remaining three in Asia. In 2013, more than 946 rhinos died at the hands of poachers in South Africa, which is home to the world’s largest rhino population. That’s more than two rhinos killed every day. Rhinos are poached for their horns, many of which end up in Asia, including Viet Nam.
While studies have shown that rhino horn has no medicinal value, myths abound about the curative properties for cancer or as a fever reducer. Some people take it as an antidote to the ill effects of drinking too much alcohol.
Rhino horns are composed of keratin, the same properties as human finger nails. In attempts to thwart poaching, some rhino horn is being treated with chemicals harmful to human health when ingested.
Do Quang Tung, director of the Viet Nam CITES Management Authority said: “Widening the message about rhino horn demand reduction is very crucial for rhino protection. The Viet Nam CITES Management Authority hopes that our efforts will help to improve the awareness of Vietnamese people about the legal consequences of buying, selling, or transporting rhino horns, thus contributing to a reduction in the demand for rhino horns in Viet Nam.”
Teresa Telecky, director of the Wildlife Department of HSI, said: “Rhinos are being driven to extinction by demand for their horn. We hope these bus advertisements will help to reduce demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam.”
This activity is under the National Rhino Demand Reduction Campaign initiated and implemented by the CITES Management Authority of Viet Nam and Humane Society International from 2013 until 2016. You can help: Take action for rhinos.
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