Vietnam Airlines joins fight to reduce rhino horn consumption

Posted on 27 January 2021

Humane Society International and Vietnam Airlines have launched an emotionally charged campaign commercial. The aim of their combined efforts is to reduce demand for rhino horn within Vietnam, which will hopefully help halt poaching in Africa.

Vietnam Airlines joins fight to reduce rhino horn consumption

Rhinos enjoy a mud bath because it helps keep their thick hide cool, as well as to soothe itchiness from bug bites.

The short film ad, titled When I Grow Up, will play on passenger screens on all Vietnam Airlines flights as well as in premium airline lounges across Vietnam and features Vietnamese primary school children sharing their big dreams for the future.

A little boy at the end of the story awakens the compassion and national pride of Vietnamese adults by urging them to stop using rhino horn.

‘Our rhino horn reduction commercial will run consecutively for a six-month period starting January 2021. By reaching the targeted demographic of mostly affluent air travellers with our tailored campaign messages, we expect to achieve demand-reduction results. We strongly believe that reducing rhino horn demand will reduce the number of rhinos poached in Africa,’ shared Ms. Tham Hong Phuong, HSI Viet Nam country director.

Rhino horn is valued in countries like China and Vietnam for medicinal benefits even though there is no scientific evidence to back these claims.

Horns can be sold for high prices on the black market. However, there are indications that the price has fallen recently in Vietnam, due in part to a rhino horn demand-reduction campaign launched in 2013 by HSI and the Vietnamese government.

This multi-faceted campaign has reached an estimated 37 million people – approximately one-third of the population. For example, in 2016 with HSI’s support, for the first time in the country’s history, Vietnam destroyed over two tons of ivory and rhino horn and other seized wildlife specimens.

In the same year, His Royal Highness Prince William Duke of Cambridge visited a joint HSI and Vietnam’s government school project to tackle illegal wildlife trade, involving the distribution of HSI’s I’m A Little Rhino book to millions of school children, now part of the national curriculum.

Dr. Teresa Telecky, HSI’s vice president of wildlife, added, ‘The increased demand for wildlife products in Vietnam and other Asian countries is one of many key threats to endangered species over the world. I hope our message can touch emotions and gradually change behaviour.’

Toby Wosskow, British-American award-winning filmmaker who is the project’s creative director, said, ‘I’m grateful to have been part of such a special project. I was inspired by the passionate team in Viet Nam who brought this story to life. In the commercial, when the young boy stands in front of the rhinos, the look he shares with his father and grandfather sends a universal message: it’s never too early or too late to stand up for what is right.’

When I Grow Up is funded by the Glen and Bobbie Ceiley Foundation and is part of HSI’s long-term efforts to reduce the consumption of rhino horn and other wildlife products in Viet Nam and other countries.

View the campaign film below:


Image: Unsplash

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