Britain to campaign for saving rhinos

August 15th, 2011 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 15 (IANS) Britain is going to lead a campaign this week to save the rhino from extinction.

Rhinos are being slaughtered across Africa at the rate of nearly one a day by criminal gangs for their horns - now worth more than heroin, cocaine or gold, Daily Express reported.

These pachyderms are poached for their ivory.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon, who also has the backing of European Union member states, has said Britain will press for a complete ban on rhino horn sales and try to block plans for a new sale of ivory stocks.

“We will also try to tackle the source of the demand for rhino horn - traditional Chinese medicine which grinds it down for many remedies even though there is no proof it works,” he said.

Demand for rhino horn has been fuelled in recent months by claims from Vietnam that it can cure cancer.

Benyon wants a Geneva meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to declare that there is no scientific evidence for its medicinal properties.

The British initiative is being launched at a time when rhino horn is fetching 50,000 pounds a kilo.

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