By Melissa Cronin
May. 15, 2014
Vietnam took a huge step forward in the fight against wildlife trafficking this week, when the country’s Ministry of Health and the Traditional Medicine Association agreed to acknowledge that there is no evidence supporting the idea that rhino horn could cure cancer.
Rhino horn, which is crushed up and used in traditional medicine in Vietnam and in other countries, was the topic of a workshop in Hanoi attended by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, and WWF Vietnam, and was funded by WWF South Africa. Attendees listened to the president of the Cancer Association of Vietnam as he denounced the idea that rhino horn can cure cancer. The groups saw the meeting as a leap forward for rhinos.
“Meeting participants, including the Traditional Medicine Association showed unanimous acknowledgement that there is no evidence to support the myth that rhino horn can cure cancer, which is a significant step.” said Jo Shaw, Manager of the Rhino Programme and the Biodiversity Unit at WWF SA.
Now, conservationists say that with the ministry’s blessing, the next step is to get the message out to people who consume rhino horn for medical purposes throughout Vietnam.