By Emmanuel Koro
Against the background where scientist, governments and environmental NGOs have failed to change people’s mindsets that the rhino horn does not have the medicinal value attributed to it as it has the same properties as human figure nails, it therefore means that both the demand and sale of the rhino horn remains unstoppable. The Chinese have always used the rhino horn for medicinal purposes, including the need to treat fever, rheumatism, gout and other disorders. They also use the powdered form of the rhino horn as an aphrodisiac.
Therefore, it does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that any attempt to stop the Chinese people’s demand for the rhino horn would be like starting a losing and laughable battle to stop sex among the over 1.379 billion Chinese people. It will never happen. Therefore, the demand for the rhino horn in China for aphrodisiac purposes will also remain as long as there is sex in China. With a total population of over 96 million and being the world’s biggest market for poached rhino horn, Vietnam also needs the rhino horn for medicinal purposes. In some parts of the world, including China and Vietnam the rhino horn is used to make ornaments such as necklaces and bangles.
With such a huge demand for rhino horn for medicinal, sexual and ornamental purposes, what this means is that the international ban on rhino horn trade only serves to increase the demand internationally and in turn increase poaching in African rhino ranges states.