Animal Rights: Rhino Poaching in Assam
India continues to stays in the limelight when it comes to violation of animal rights. The heinous practice of poaching animals for personal and commercial ends is widespread throughout the country. In early 2010, poachers in Assam killed an elephant and injured a full grown male rhino in the Kaziranga National Park. This was shocking news that made headlines across newspapers but it had no significance on the general public.
Between 2006 to mid 2009, about 132 people were arrested for poaching. In 2006, 9 rhinos were poached and the number increased to 21 in 2007 and 16 in 2008. India rhinos are mainly found in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park (2,000), Pobitra Wildlife Sanctuary (84), Orang National Park (64 rhinos), and 5 in Manas national Park (data is that for the year, 2009).
Animal Rights: What is the Main Purpose of Rhino Poaching?
Poachers don’t care about violating animal rights because they kill with a purpose. Poachers kill rhinos and elephants for their horn. It is believed that the rhino horn has medicinal properties including aphrodisiac qualities.
For centuries, this is used in the preparation of traditional Asian medicines for curing stomach ailments, fever and several other diseases. Rhino horn is also exported to the Middle East, where it is made into expensive artifacts such as ornamental dagger.
Animal Rights: What is the Government Doing?
To stop animal rights violations, the government has deployed the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The purpose of doing this is to ensure the protection of rhinos from poachers.
While welcoming the BSF personnel in the Park, a forest official, Ranjit Baruaj said, “Forest Department does not have sophisticated weapons so they cannot perform such strong duty and it becomes difficult at times to manage. Secondly, there are about 3-4 people in a camp here and our 0.15 and other rifles are not enough.”
It is appreciable that the government is taking steps to conserve and develop wildlife and its habitats by providing financial aid. However, what can really help are stronger deterrents to poachers and to set a good foundation for this step, it is important to provide advanced security personnel.