Some Vietnamese pockets are overflowing – powdered rhino horn is reaching excessive prices. Why? Asia, and specifically Vietnam, believe that rhino horn is the ultimate medicinal cure and customers keep arriving in their thousands. The latest trend across Asia’s affluent population is the habitual consumption of powdered rhino horn as super potent detox. It is said that the current price of rhino horn powder is sky-high. And with a secured demand, the poachers return to South Africa for more rhino horn, again and again. Despite conservation protection and anti-poaching measures feverishly implemented across South Africa, the number of rhino poaching continues to climb weekly. Now, South Africa’s government is turning to the rhino horn market – Asia – and more specificially Vietnam, in an attempt to overcome the illegal rhino horn trade and resulting threat to South Africa’s rhino population.
This year’s rhino poaching already exceeds the number of rhinos killed during 2011. Media images of bloody, hornless rhinos are flooding the South African media as the poaching tally continues to climb for 2012. But local media are now critically expanded to international grounds. And the government is following: the Minister of Water & Environmental Affairs will visit Vietnam during December to continue negotiating Vietnam’s support in combatting illegal rhino hunting. South Africa’s talks with Vietnam commenced earlier this year, with the involvement of various departments (including the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Justice).
Home to 90% of Africa’s rhino population, and added that the South African government has been slow in curbing rhino poaching, the country is a perfect target for rhino poaching and illegal horn trade. But a Memorandum of Understanding on the issue is said to be signed between South Africa and Vietnam early December – conservationists remain hopeful that Vietnam can take on some responsibility in curbing the demand for illegal horn trade.
In the meantime, media, conservationists and NGOs are urged to campaign the rhino horn medicinal value hoax – and the brutal harm to Africa’s rhino.
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