Assam Government burns around sized 2500 rhino horns in a special ceremony

 Assam Government burns around sized 2500 rhino horns in a special ceremony

On the occasion of World Rhino Day, the Assam Govt is burning 2,500 rhino horns on September 22. The ritualistic burning of the Rhino horns was done publicly at Bokakhat on the occasion of World Rhino Day in the presence of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and some of the cabinet colleagues including Forest and Environmental Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and the local AGP MLA and Agriculture minister Atul Bora.

Q1. Why Rhino Horns are Burnt?

The Rhino Horns were burned at Bokakhat, Assam’s Golaghat district near Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR). The grand ceremony has been publicized as a “milestone towards  Rhino conservation” aimed at “busting myths about rhino horns”.  “It’s a loud and clear message to the poachers and smugglers that such items have no value”,  said M K Yadava, Chief wildlife Warden, Assam.
On 16 September, the state cabinet has decided to publicly burn 2,467 pieces of rhinos out of 2,623 rhino horns stockpiled in the state treasuries while 94 rhino horns will be kept and preserved pieces for academic purposes and public viewing.

Q2. Why Rhino Horn is so expensive?

In the illegal market, such horns can fetch a high price. a forest department release said, “ground rhino horn is used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure a range of ailments, from Cancer to hangovers, and also as an aphrodisiac.” In Vietnam, possessing a rhino horn is considered a status symbol. Due to demand in these countries, poaching pressure on rhinos is ever persistent against which one cannot let the guard down.

Q3. Is rhino horn valuable?

The horns have been stored in treasuries across the state over decades. After a rhino dies either out of natural causes or due to poaching, its horn- essentially a mass of compacted hair- is kept in the custody of the Forest Department in the State treasuries.
Through August and September, the forest department carried out ‘horn reverification exercises spanning treasuries seven across seven wildlife zones (Morigaon, Manas, Mangaldai, Guwahati, Bokakhat, Nagaon, and Tezpur) and examined more than 2,500 horns. It was a multi-step process in which an expert committee — comprising DFOs, wildlife experts, forensic specialists, and technicians — examined, tagged, weighed, measured, and extracted DNA for a genetic sampling of each and every horn, besides other things. The aim was to recount and reverify the horns, while the majority was put aside to be destroyed, 5 percent which had unique characteristics, were earmarked for preservation.

Summary- On the occasion of World Rhino Day, the Assam Govt is burning 1,500 rhino horns on September 22. The ritualistic burning of the Rhino horns was done publicly at Bokakhat on the occasion of World Rhino Day in the presence of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and some of the cabinet colleagues including Forest and Environmental Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and the local AGP MLA and agriculture minister Atul Bora.

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