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Celebrities tell South Africa – We don’t want your rhino horn
Hanoi (March 2, 2017) – A number of major Vietnamese celebrities including diva Hong Nhung, singer
Thanh Bui, MC Anh Tuan and many others have joined with Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) to
promote a global petition calling on South Africa to withdraw their plan to legalize the rhino horn trade.
The “We don’t want your rhino horn!” campaign in support of Born Free’s petition aims to collect 50,000
signatures from around the country and highlight that the proposed rhino horn trade legalization will fuel
renewed demand, and threatens Vietnam’s progress in combating crime involving rhino horn and reducing
demand for rhino horn.
On February 8, 2017 issue of the Government Gazette (Vol 620/Issue No. 40601) of the Republic of
South Africa published draft regulations for the domestic trade in rhinoceros horn, or a part, product or
derivative of rhinoceros horn. If these new regulations are approved, rhino horns can be legally imported
into Vietnam and other countries.
In recent years, the international community has considered Vietnam as a major consumer market for
rhino horns, and that the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam is pushing rhino populations in South Africa
and other countries to the verge of extinction. However, Vietnam has been making great progress in
addressing this problem through raising awareness, strengthening law enforcement, and improving
ENV Director of Policy and Legislation, Ms. Bui Thi Ha said: “Opening the door to legal trade undermines
enforcement in consumer countries, and would likely stimulate greater demand, putting further pressure
on wild rhinos everywhere. This new development is in conflict with global efforts to conserve these
endangered species and will inevitably hasten the end of the rhino.
According to Vietnam’s new penal code, expected to become effective in 2017, any crime involving a
small amount of rhino horn (50gram) will be subject to prosecution. However, it will be very challenging for
Vietnamese authorities to enforce the law if South Africa legalize the rhino horn trade.
Diva Hong Nhung, another ENV rhino ambassador added: “As a Vietnamese citizen who has witnessed
the carnage personally in South Africa, I, together with other artists and Vietnamese people, want to send
a clear message to proponents of the rhino horn trade in South Africa that we, the Vietnamese people, do
not want your rhino horn!”
Nhung urges the South African government to reject the proposed legislation and stand with Vietnam in