Hands off rhino, say Vietnam ads

2013-05-17 00:00

CONSUMING rhino horn is about as useful as eating one’s nails.

That’s the thrust of a new series of adverts developed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, aiming to encourage Vietnamese citizens to stop buying or consuming rhino horn.

The awareness raising campaign includes a public service announcement starring local singer My Linh. The video tells people about the composition of rhino horn and urges them not to consume or buy it.

Print adverts have also been developed depicting a rhino with human hands or feet in place of its horn to show the Vietnamese public that rhino horn is made largely of keratin, the same substance that makes up your finger nails and toe nails.

“Rhino horn … will do nothing to treat cancer or help one’s sexual prowess. There are traditional medicines that have proven to be effective for treating a variety of ailments and symptoms and have saved millions of lives. Rhino horn is not one of them,” said Traffic’s Greater Mekong programme co-ordinator, Dr Naomi Doak.

“Widespread lies, myths and rumours are fuelling demand and use of rhino horn.”

There is also renewed interest in other non-traditional medicinal uses such as a treatment for hangovers, as a sexual stimulant and a detoxifier. Although rhino horn remains in the pages of traditional Vietnamese medicine texts, its sale is illegal.

Support the campaign by visiting facebook.com/Vietnamwwf or view and share the Vietnamese public service announcement on http://youtu.be/qLu7AxznTIw.

— Supplied.

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