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by Joan Reddy
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

The “Rush Hour” actor and WildAid ambassador, Jackie Chan, stars in the PSA, “Tools of the Trade,” where he expresses his opposition to the killing of rhinos for their horns. The PSA was produced as the result of a partnership between WildAid and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), and is part of their “Say No Campaign,” which aims to educate people to refrain from buying rhino horn products.

In “Tools of the Trade,” Chan is accompanied by a 6,300 pound white rhino, named Spike, and a computer-generated rhino. During the announcement, Chan reminds us of the dangers rhinos face as a species, while dodging various weapons, including a machete.

WildAid seeks to “end the estimated $10 billion a year illegal wildlife trade in live animals and animal parts, which is decimating ecosystems worldwide.” They said that “95 percent of the world’s rhinos have been lost in the past forty years. In 2008 poaching started to rise and last year the world witnessed record levels of rhino poaching in South Africa and Zimbabwe with the main markets identified as Vietnam and China. In 2012, a record 668 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa. Already by early November 2013, over 860 rhinos have been killed.”

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs recently announced that “poachers killed 1,004 of the country’s rhinos in 2013, compared to 13 in 2007.” They said that “Africa’s Western Black Rhinoceros, a rhino subspecies, recently went extinct due to habitat loss and poaching.”

The African Wildlife Foundation, says that “[i]n the wild, the adult black or white rhino has no predators except for humans. Rhinos are hunted and killed for their horns. The major demand for rhino horn is in Asia, where it is used in ornamental carvings and traditional medicine. Rhino horn is touted as a cure for hangovers, cancer, and impotence.  Their horns are not true horns; they are actually made of keratin—the same material that makes up our hair and nails. Truly, rhino horn is as effective at curing cancer as chewing on your fingernails.”

Executive director and founder of WildAid, Peter Knights, explains that “[w]e urgently need to bring the epidemic of rhino poaching to people in Asia where rhino horn products are being consumed and who better than Jackie to carry that message.” Chan has long voiced his support for animal rights. Knights said that “[h]e’s worked with Chan on conservation issues since 1996.” Chan was the “first prominent voice to speak out against illegal wildlife trade in Asia and has helped to greatly raise awareness of the plight of tigers and other species since. Jackie loves animals and feels passionately about their protection and his leadership inspired many other Asian stars to become involved,”said Knights.

“Just as with the drug trade, traditional focus on enforcement in producing countries has not worked – we must address the demand side if we are to save these animals,” said Knights. In the ‘Tools of the Trade’ footage, Chan shares an important message, “You are paying for guns, bullets, arrows, chainsaws, axes and machetes to hack off the face of the rhino, and you are paying for the life of a beautiful creature… Never buy products made from rhino horn. When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Joan Reddy

Joan Reddy is a professional photographer, writer, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. Joan holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University, in Toronto, where her thesis focused on Animal Rights. Through her writing, Joan wants to help to educate the public about the way animals are abused and exploited, in cultures around the world. Joan is also founder and president of the Federal registered non-profit organization "International Communication for Animal Justice." Her organization's website can be found at www.internationalcommunicationforanimaljustice.org, and her professional profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-reddy/22/999/449.

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