Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Around the Horn

News that the South African Government is to 'fight fire with fire' in an attempt to prevent the decimation of the country's rhinoceros is timely but disturbing (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/16/south-africa-war-on-poachers). Apparently, rhino horn is now worth more than gold in Chinese and Vietnamese markets as it has been claimed that a minister from the latter country was cured of cancer by taking the powdered material. This has led to the numbers of rhinoceros being killed by poachers in South Africa more than doubling this year (compared to 2009) to more than 260. Some farmers are said to be attacked on the suspicion that they might have rhino horn in the farm safe! It is all a little sad that conservation of these animals is imperilled in the search for something that has at best only a placebo action. They might just as well use powdered human hair.

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