If we don’t take action now, rhinos could be extinct within the next decade. Every 14.6 hours a rhino is killed so that its horns can be used as bogus medicine. Rhino horns are in demand on the criminal black markets in Vietnam - per kilogram - worth more than diamonds and gold. Grinding dishes are sold to make a concoction with water and horn powder, in the false hope that it may cure cancer and other ailments. Science has proven that it has no health benefits whatsoever.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement to protect animals from exploitation, has some regulations in place to stop the trade of rhino horn. Unfortunately, these regulations have been found wanting, full of loopholes, and easily sidestepped to feed the falsely created hype in Vietnam.

The dwindling numbers aren’t only a result of poaching. Trophy hunting of rhinos in South Africa is still allowed, and 70% of the "hunters" are Vietnamese, or from neighbours Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. This ‘legal’ form of rhino slaughter is fuelling the trade in horns that is driving the species to extinction.

CITES must put strong pressure on Vietnam and it's neighbours to stop the trade of rhino horn, halt trophy hunting permits for rhinos, and mount a public education campaign to show that rhino horn is useless for medicinal purposes.

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