Siezed rhino horns to be given as state presents
It seems that there is no end to the line of people waiting to exploit India’s fragile wildlife. Even government officials are jumping for their stake in the bounty! Assam has a vast number of rhino horns seized from poachers or retrieved from dead animals lying in its treasury.
While earlier norms regulating these horns dictated that they be counted and burnt in public to discourage poaching, officials are pushing to present them as mementos to visiting dignitaries. Shockingly, it is a forest official who said, “Since we have a large number of these precious animal parts, and most of these are getting damaged, why not present these to state guests after turning them into mementoes?”
The one-horned rhino is unique to Assam and around 500 are estimated to have been killed in the last three decades. Offering rhino horns to state guests legitimises the desire to possess a rhino horn. The only correct action would be to burn the confiscated horns in public.