Chemical Treatment of Rhinoceros Horns
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The horrific figures of rampant poaching indicate the urgent need for proactive and preventative measures to fight the current severe poaching threat. On 20 December 2012, AFB (Air Force Base) Hoedspruit conducted the DNA sampling and Chemical Treatment of Rhinoceros Horns. AFB Hoedspruit was assisted by Lt Col Phillip Oosthuizen who initiated the project, Protract, Rhino Rescue Project who sponsored the treatment, the Green Kids, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Veterinary Doctor Dr Van Niekerk and the Directorate Animal Health SAMHS. When the rhino is temporarily immobilized for treatment DNA sampling is conducted to ensure sound management of this precious species in the SAAF. Although there are normally significant costs involved in such project, AFB Hoedspruit liaised with other researchers working on different challenges affecting rhino population and engaged with Dr Lorinda Hern from the Rhino Rescue Project who approved and supported this project and gave their consent to conduct such program free of charge on both the SA Air Force (SAAF) units who owns rhino's. The idea of poisoning the horns was circumvented by the need to treat the horn. The treatment of the horns with a mixture of ectoparasitacides coupled with an indelible dye would go a long way to helping achieve the goal of protecting rhinos from poaching. It is also believed that the treatment could potentially neutralize a dual threat of rampant poaching and reduce the cruel reality of poaching.
South African National Defence Force
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