Hanoi, November 4, 2013 – Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), WildAid, and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) have released a striking new public service announcement (PSA) illustrating the horrific consequences of the increasing demand for illegal rhino horn in countries including Vietnam. The PSA, “The Sickening Truth,” carries a warning since it contains explicit video of a rhino that was left for dead after her horn and a large portion of her face were brutally hacked off.
“On average, a rhino is being killed every nine and a half hours in South Africa, simply to feed the misguided demand from countries like Vietnam,” said Nguyen Phuong Dung, ENV’s Vice Director. “With the support of TV stations across the country, this PSA will impart an unforgettable message to the Vietnamese public discouraging the use of rhino horn.”
The rhino featured in the video was discovered in March 2013 by Ranger Richard Sowry at Kruger National Park and was humanely euthanized. The message is cut with footage shot in Vietnam of grinding rhino horn for a liquid mixture.
“More than 100 rhinos have been poached in the last month just in South Africa, roughly 800 so far this year,” said Peter Knights, WildAid Executive Director. “This message confronts rhino horn consumers directly with the horrific consequences of their purchasing power.”
Along with China, Vietnam is considered one of the world’s largest markets for rhino horn due to a false belief in its medicinal properties and value as a status symbol. Burgeoning wealth and increasing disposable income have boosted local demand for rhino horn, with recent studies showing that consumers feel disconnected from the cruel and merciless actions of poachers.
“Poachers are being arrested right and left in Africa, but the insatiable demand for rhino horn and the lucrative trade it fuels means there are plenty of others ready and willing to take their place,” said Patrick J. Bergin, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation. “As long as there is demand, the killing—of rhinos and rangers—will continue. This campaign will hopefully convince consumers in Vietnam to stop buying rhino horn.”
* Viewer discretion is advised as this film contains disturbing images of a severely injured rhino.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Le Mai Hanh, Education for Nature – Vietnam
T: +844 6281 5424, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Adams, WildAid US Communications Director
C: +001 857 264 9688, E: email@example.com
Kathleen Garrigan, African Wildlife Foundation
T: +001 202 939 3326, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV)
Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as Vietnam’s first non-governmental organization focused on the conservation of nature and protection of the environment. Our mission is to foster greater understanding amongst the Vietnamese public about the need to protect nature and wildlife. We employ creative and innovative strategies to influence public attitudes and mobilize Vietnamese citizens to live in balance with the natural world. We work closely with government partners to strengthen policy and legislation and directly support enforcement efforts in the protection of endangered species of national, regional and global significance. Website: www.envietnam.org (English); www.thiennhien.org (Vietnamese). Facebook: www.facebook.com/EducationforNatureVietnam Campaign to bring an end to the killing of rhinos: http://www.envietnam.org/our-work/rhino-horn-trade-in-Vietnam.html. ENV gratefully acknowledges Save the Rhino International, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and Birdlife International for their valuable support and partnership in bringing this PSA to Vietnam.
About ENV’s Wildlife Crime Hotline
ENV maintains a toll-free National Wildlife Crime Hotline (1800 1522) to facilitate reporting of crimes by the general public. Trained case officers from ENV receive calls and transfer information about wildlife crimes to appropriate local authorities. Each case is then documented and tracked through to conclusion. Members of the public are kept informed of the results of cases that they report to ENV.
So far, ENV has documented more than 5,200 wildlife crime cases resulting in confiscation of hundreds of animals, closure of wildlife markets and restaurants, removal of advertisements, and punishment to violators, as well as voluntary action by hundreds of violators after initial warnings were issued by ENV.
WildAid is the only organization to solely focus on reducing the demand for wildlife products. Working with hundreds of Asian and Western celebrities and business leaders, including Jackie Chan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Sir Richard Branson, WildAid’s public service messages and educational initiatives reach hundreds of millions of people a week in China alone through donated media space. For more information: www.wildaid.org. Follow us on Twitter @WildAid and Facebook at facebook.com/WildAid.
About African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is the leading conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF’s programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa’s people. Since its inception, AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa’s unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kenya and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States. For more information, visit www.awf.org and follow us on Twitter @AWF_Official and Facebook at facebook.com/AfricanWildlifeFoundation.
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