With its status symbol allure and alleged medicinal properties, rhino horn is a luxury item in Vietnam, a primary market for horn that’s driving the slaughter of rhinos in Africa.
That’s why in 2014, WildAid and our conservation partners launched “Stop Using Rhino Horn," a three-year campaign with support and cooperation from the Vietnamese government as well as business leaders and media partners, who have contributed $1.6 million in donated media space that has reached millions of consumers.
In addition to raising awareness with our partners, African Wildlife Foundation and CHANGE, we're committed to assisting the Vietnamese government in strengthening the nation's law enforcement efforts. The campaign will provide professionally trained detector dogs to Vietnam Customs in a joint partnership between WildAid, Working Dogs for Conservation (WDFC) and Vietnam Customs. Two dogs currently are being trained in the US to be able to detect several different wildlife scents, including rhino horn, ivory, tiger, and pangolin products, at Hai Phong Seaport in September.
WildAid’s campaign also coordinates with Operation Game Change, an alliance to curb wildlife trafficking in Vietnam, especially the rhino horn trade, supported by the U.S. Embassy.
According to an AC Nielsen survey released Friday, 75 percent of those interviewed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City believed that rhino horn has health benefits, with more than one-third of all respondents believing that rhino horn can cure cancer. (Such health benefits are medically unproven.)