World Rhino Day: Assam Govt to burn 2500 Rhino horns publically on Sept 22

World Rhino Day: Assam Govt to burn 2500 Rhino horns publically on Sept 22

India TodayNE
  • Sep 20, 2021,
  • Updated Jun 29, 2022, 12:21 AM IST

GUWAHATI: The Assam government will burn down at least 2500 confiscated Rhino horns at the Bokakhat public playground in Golaghat district of Assam on September 22, 2021, on the occasion of World Rhino Day.

According to the official website, World Rhino Day is observed every year on September 22 and "provides the opportunity for cause-related organisations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways."

However, this year the celebration of the day might be more significant due to a unique exercise undertaken by the forest department and the Assam government as they gear up to burn about 2500 seized Rhino horns along with body parts of other animals including tasks of elephant body stored in various districts.

The exercise will be carried out in accordance with the relevant section of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as well as Gauhati High Court order issued in 2010 that directed the Assam forest department to hold public hearing on the proposed rhino horn burning.

The Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment, Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Sunday said, "It is a very good idea taken by the Assam government to destroy the rhino horns, and it will help to stop illegal rhino horn trade."

It needs to be mentioned that Minister Choubey will attend the programme virtually as he will be in Manipur on World Rhino Day.

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The central government applauds the Assam government's initiative which will be able to stop the illegal rhino horn trade as of that date, he added.

In cabinet meeting on September 16, the Assam state government decided that 2,479 pieces of the 2,623 rhino horns stockpiled in state treasuries would be set ablaze in public.

The government hopes that by making this sensational move, it will send message to poachers about the futility of illegal wildlife trade, dispelling myths about their medicinal use, and thus putting an end to rhino poaching in the state.

Furthermore, up to 94 of the stockpiled rhino horns will be preserved as heritage pieces for academic purposes, while the remaining 50 rhino horns will be reserved for court cases. 

Gas-powered fire pits have been set up in the Bokakhat public playground, and preparations for the burning are underway under the supervision of the state's Chief Wildlife Warden, MK Yadav.


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