The world’s leading conservation and environmental organizations – among others – are speaking out against the use of rhino horn as a medical treatment. Check out this list of quotes with source links and a few videos.
Rhino horn quotes
- “Although there is no scientific proof of its medical value, rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, where it is ground into a fine powder or manufactured into tablets as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as nosebleeds, strokes, convulsions, and fevers.” – WWF, African Rhino Poaching Crisis
- “The unfounded rumour that rhino horn can cure cancer most likely sealed the fate of the last Javan rhino in Vietnam. This same problem is now threatening other rhino populations across Africa and South Asia.” – Dr. A. Christy Williams, WWF, Rhino horn demand leads to record poaching
- “We will be leading global action to clamp down on this cruel and archaic trade, and to dispel the myths peddled to vulnerable people that drive demand for rhino products.” – UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelmen, UK to lead international rhino horn clampdown
- “The tragedy is that rhino horn is made of keratin, the same stuff that makes up human hair and nails. It has no medicinal value, you might as well eat your fingernails.” – Mark Jones, Executive Director, Humane Society International/UK, It is devastating to see rhinos killed for a cure that doesn’t work
- “To all this, I say that something that works for everything usually works for nothing. I also say that something that has been used for hundreds or thousands of years does not make it right.” – Dr. Albert Lim Kok Hooi, oncologist, A horny story
- “Apparently, based on the results of this study, rhinoceros horn can reduce fever, but only at rather high dosage levels when prescribed as a single drug.” – Ethnopharmacology of Rhinoceros Horn. I: Antipyretic Effects of Rhinoceros Horn and Other Animal Horns. In this study, fever-induced rats showed temporary lowering of temperature after being injected with an extremely high concentration of rhino horn extract, however, there was no antipyretic effect at the dosage levels comparable to what would be prescribed to a human patient. Download the study here.
- “The Secretariat is also very conscious, however, of the need to respond to the belief that rhinoceros horn is efficacious in the treatment or prevention of cancer. It is despicable that criminals are financially exploiting sufferers, and their relatives, at a time when they will be struggling to cope with distressing and sometimes terminal medical conditions.” – CITES (CoP15 Doc. 45.1). Download it here.
- Regarding rumors that rhino horn is a cancer treatment: “There is no evidence that rhino horn is an effective cure for cancer and this is not documented in TCM nor is it approved by the clinical research in traditional Chinese medicine.” – Lixin Huang, Statement opposing the use of rhino horn in medicines by the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- “Tests also showed that rhino horn, which, like fingernails is made of agglutinated hair, has no analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmolytic nor diuretic properties, and no bactericidal effect could be found against suppuration and intestinal bacteria.” – WWF Scientific Tests Fail to Show Rhino Horn Effective as Medicine
- “For some time I have been contemplating to publish a paper which should have a headline in giant newsprint to say that RHINO HORN IS NOT AN APHRODISIAC. There is even no evidence that rhino horn was ever regularly used for this purpose. Such a paper should be followed by another with more giant newsprint announcing that RHINO HORN IS NOT MEDICINAL. Consensus now appears to be that even if rhino horn is mildly anti-pyretic to lower fever symptoms, the benefits do not outweigh those of cheap over-the-counter medicines readily available in any pharmacy.” – Dr. Kees Rookmaaker, Rhino Resource Center Newsletter #25, November 2011