Thursday, July 22, 2010

China's Rhino Horn Farms

China's Rhino Horn Farms

A year or so ago I was told about a huge White Rhino Farm on an island off the coast of China. A large number of animals were being bred and farmed for their horns. The founding stock for the farm were purchased from the South African livestock markets which take place each year. I asked around, emailing people in the know. Others had heard the rumours too but no-one had visited the farm or knew anybody who had. Today the following article appeared. This appears to refer to a different farm so the problem may already be bigger than thought.

Revealed: Location of China's Rhino Farm and 'Horn Harvesting' Experiments

Troubling information indicates China is already farming rhinos for horn.

A disturbing proposal from China reveals that “artificial propagation” of rhinos is under way, and the use of rhino horn as an “important raw material” in traditional Chinese medicine is being promoted and encouraged, indicating China is preparing for an attempt to have the ban on rhino horn trade lifted.

State-funded proposal for use of rhino horn in TCM

A proposal from the China Institute of Science and Technology Research, Beijing, entitled Proposal for Protection of the Rhinoceros and the Sustainable Use of Rhinoceros Horn – funded by the State Soft Sciences Project, Development for Traditional Chinese Medicine Research – contains troubling information indicating that China is already farming rhinos in order to use rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine.

The rhino “farm” – referred to as the Sanya City Center for artificial propagation of the rhinoceros – is reportedly located in China’s Hainan Province.

In Hainan Province, the Sanya City center for artificial propagation of the the rhinoceros has already introduced a group of rhinoceroses from Africa, and is now engaged in research and other efforts related to rhinoceros nutrition, disease, rearing and breeding.

And, it is clear that “horn harvesting” experiments are already being conducted.

Initial progress achieved in research to extract rhinoceros horn from live rhinoceroses merits the attention and support of relevant institutions.

Rhino horn: Science vs. myth

Overwhelming scientific evidence has proven that rhino horn actually contains no medicinal properties whatsoever, as demonstrated in this video of Dr. Raj Amin at the Zoological Society of London.

Despite science, the use of rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine is still encouraged in China.

The utilization value of rhinoceros horn is extremely high; as an emergency medicine and an important raw material in the Traditional Chinese Medicine industry.

And what’s driving rhino poaching? The perpetuation of medicinal myths about rhino horn and the resulting demand for rhino horn “remedies”.

The rhinoceros horn is a product in extremely high demand in Chinese herbal medicine markets in Asia, and prices are high, with retail prices as high as several thousand U.S. dollars per horn; in areas of the Far East, the value of a 1kg rhinoceros horn is as high as 60,000 U.S. dollars.

These lucrative rewards are keeping rhino poaching syndicates motivated and profitable.

What about wildlife groups in China?

One immediately wonders if wildlife groups in China are aware of the rhino farm and the push for rhino horn products.

While it is likely some groups working within China’s borders...... READ FULL ARTICLE

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