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Women take stand on rhino horn myths

Update: October, 23/2013 - 09:15

The Ha Noi Women's Union and its 788,000 female members have committed to reducing the demand for rhino horn consumption among women in the capital, a conference heard yesterday.— Photo kienthuc

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi Women's Union and its 788,000 female members have committed to reducing the demand for rhino horn consumption among women in the capital, a conference heard yesterday.

Vice chairwoman of the union Tran Thi Phuong Hoa made the statement at the conference, which was jointly organised by the Vietnam CITES Management Authority, Humane Society International and the Viet Nam Women's Union to raise awareness of the issue.

Hoa said that due to their limited understanding, some people, including women, still believed in myths that said rhino horns possess medicinal value.

"They trust that the horn can cure cancer or reduce fever. Some take it as an antidote after drinking too much alcohol," she said.

Studies have shown that rhino horn has no health benefits for humans. Furthermore, due to attempts to thwart poaching, some horns are treated with chemicals that are harmful to human health.

Hoa said the union, with the support of conservationists, would provide its members with the message that buying, selling and using rhino horns is wrong and ask them to pass it on to friends and family members.

Teresa Telecky, director of the Wildlife Department of Humane Society International, stated that if Vietnamese women agreed not to buy or use rhino horn, it would significantly reduce the demand and help save the species from extinction.

More than 740 rhinos have died at the hands of poachers in South Africa, the country's with the world's largest rhino population, so far this year.

Viet Nam's last rhino was killed by poachers two years ago. The nation has co-operated with many organisations to reduce rhino demand. — VNS

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