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'Needed in rhino horn verification'

Prominent wildlife organization of Assam, Nature’s Beckon and Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) welcome the recent initiative of Assam government to protect the wildlife in general and conserve the one-horned rhinoceros in particular.

The two organizations, while appreciating the latest initiative to start the process of verification of rhino horns kept in the custody of forest department and different treasuries in the State, urge strongly the government to make public the number of rhino horns in its custody since 1980.

The people of Assam also must know how much rhino horns were there in the custody of the forest department and the treasuries of Assam till 1980 (those recovered before the year), said a statement issued by Nature’s Beckon and JFA.

The issue of one-horned rhinos and rhino horns are not only an environmental affair but also a social concern involving a number of conservation and civil society groups; and hence Nature’s Beckon and JFA demand to the State government to reveal the modalities or mechanism to be followed while verifying the rhino horns kept in the custody.

The Rhino Horn Verification Committee instituted by the State government recently in a press statement mentioned that while the process of verification of rhino horns will continue, only those rhino horns lead to suspicion regarding its authenticity and only those horns would be sent for forensic examination. However, the two organizations argue that each and every rhino horn should be authenticated by the forensic test.

“We also appeal to the State government to inform the people of Assam about the credentials of the members of the Rhino Horn Verification Committee. Since the issue of rhino horn has been a social and emotional issue, the people should know the credentials about the individuals engaged in the process of verification of rhino horns,” added the statement.

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Assam Times Staff. editor@assamtimes.org

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