Despite military style protection, a rhino is being killed for its horn every 8 hours in South Africa alone – we don’t know the statistics in other counties as they don’t have the same resources for monitoring the problem.
(Please note: The figure for 2016 is not official, as the South African government is yet to make an announcement on this.)
Rhino Poaching Quick Facts:
- ~ 25,000 rhinos distributed across several African counties.
- < 5,000 rhino distributed over several Asian countries.
- Conservancies stating that 50% of their maintenance budget is going towards security and anti‐poaching measures.
- Rhinos being routinely de‐horned or having poisons infused into their horns to protect them.
- Attempts to legalize trade to sell off stockpiles controversial since historic evidence indicates that this builds customer demand in the long‐term.
- Farming rhino to dehorn likely futile as historic evidence points to wealthy Asian customers not giving farmed animals the same status; farmed rhino horn only likely to be bought by less wealthy, again expanding the customer base, until they can afford wild rhino horn.
It is clear from the escalating poaching rate that conservation and protection measures alone cannot save the rhino from extinction. The demand in Viet Nam needs to be addressed urgently. To understand the scale of the problem, take a look at the following video by Al Jazeera (not suitable for children):
The research shows that:
- The user base has NO affinity with the animal. Appealing to empathy by showing pictures of (poached) rhinos is NOT effective.
- The user base does not really care about the efficacy of the product, they care about the status and prestige that consuming genuine rhino horn bestows on them in the eyes of their peers
Similarly, an investigation into the primary user group has established only 2 possible motivations to stop consumption:
- A perceived negative impact on the health of the user
- A perceived negative impact on the status of the user (in the eyes of his peers)
This implies the need for a targeted campaign RIGHT NOW to stop the demand in Viet Nam, specifically in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The Breaking the Brand project has created such a campaign with the help of the global advertising agency Three Wise Men. The aim of the pilot campaign is to create uncertainty and doubt in the users’ minds about the safety of the product, even though they believe they have a trusted supply chain.