Rhino horn as ‘status symbol’ in Vietnam driving SA poaching crisis

2013-09-17 12:00

Rhino horn is a status symbol in Vietnam, which is driving the poaching crisis in South Africa, the WWF in South Africa has said.

“Rhino horn consumers are wealthy and powerful, and as such, are seen as influential people within Vietnamese society,” WWF SA rhino coordinator Dr Jo Shaw said today.

“While their reasons for purchasing and consuming rhino horn are linked to an underlying belief in its medicinal properties there is a current trend of use to enhance social standing.”

The findings form part of WWF SA-funded research in Vietnam earlier this year, commissioned by the wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic and assisted by marketing research company Ipsos.

Traffic surveyed 720 people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and found rhino horn was often gifted to family members, business colleagues or those in authority.

They also associated it with a feeling of “peace of mind”.

Another key finding was that a large group of people who had not bought or were not using rhino horn intended to do so in future.

Traffic Greater Mekong Programme researcher Dr Naomi Doak said: “Intenders want to become buyers and users of rhino horn as it is favoured and valued by those they want to impress.

“They have already made a conscious decision to purchase rhino horn, even though they know it is illegal.”

Over 500 rhino have been poached in South Africa this year. A total of 333 rhino were poached in 2010, 448 in 2011, and 668 last year.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.