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World Rhino Day statements in Hanoi

September 21, 2012

The Vietnamese government says it will strengthen law enforcement to fight international crime syndicates responsible for the trade in rhino horn.

The statement came two days before World Rhino Day (September 22), WWF-Viet Nam and officials of Viet Nam’s CITES management authority brought together government representatives from Viet Nam, South Africa and the United States, as well as traditional medicine experts to discuss curbing the global trade.

Dr. Nguyen Ba Ngai (pictured), Deputy Director General of Viet Nam’s Administration of Forestry, Agriculture and Rural Development and Political Counsellor, Nontatu Skolo, of the South African embassy in Hanoi have both made statements to commemorate the day.

Dr Nguyen says Vietnam would work to increase Vietnamese people’s awareness of the rhinos plight to curb demand.

“The demand for rhino horn is the main reason for the fact that rhinos are being poached all days and nights and illegally cross-border traded with the involvement of international crime organizations. To join hands with global efforts Viet Nam has been closely working with related agencies to strengthen the law enforcement and enhance awareness of the whole society to combat against illegal trade in wildlife,” he says.

“The rhino is of tremendous value to South Africa because it is part of what we call the Big Five, which comprise the buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino,” Political Counsellor Nontatu Skolo of the South African embassy in Hanoi says.

“Our tourism depends on our wildlife and in particular on the Big Five. Rhino poaching is therefore also doing great harm to our tourism.”

Rhino horn is widely used in Vietnam as a medicine or health drink. It is has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which is very influential in Vietnam.

Experts expect a record number of rhinos (over 500) will be poached this year in South Africa to supply growing demand for the horn in Asia.

The hunting of rhinos is restricted and trade in their body parts is internationally banned. Vietnam’s last rhino was killed in 2010 for its horn.

World Rhino Day was initiated by WWF-South Africa in 2010 with an aim to raise awareness of the plight of the animals. Some rhino species are facing the threat of extinction due to poaching of their horns to meet increasing demand in the Asian market.

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From → rhinos, Uncategorized

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