Assam Government burns 2479 rhino horns on World Rhino Day


Guwahati: To break the myth of medicinal value of rhino horns and send a strong message against poaching and smuggling of rhino horns, the Assam Government decided in Sept 16 cabinet meeting to destroy horns kept in treasuries of the State.

Acting on that decision, the government consigned 2479 rhino horns, out of total 2623 such horns extracted from naturally or accidentally dead rhinos or confiscated from poachers, to flames today at Bokakhat on the occasion of World Rhino Day. Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma along with Atul Bora, Keshab Mahanta, Urkhao Gwra Brahma, Parimal Suklabaidya and other ministers and officials were present in the programme.

The Assam Government is going to preserve 94 rhino horns based on size and soundness of architecture that will be showcased in a museum to be set up at Kaziranga National Park while 29 horns would be kept for ongoing court cases.

 “Our Govt has taken zero-tolerance policy towards poaching of wildlife and due to our consistent efforts, one-horned rhinoceros population in Assam has increased from 1672 in 1999 to 2652 as per the 2018 census. With the first-of-its-kind event of destruction of rhino horns on such a scale in the country and the world, we intend to send a strong message against rhino poaching and reiterate our commitment towards wildlife protection,” said Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Speaking on the occasion Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya said “Never before such a huge stockpile of one-horned rhino horns have been consigned to flames thus spreading the message loud and clear that rhino horns are no aphrodisiac and the myth has to be busted to put an end to the poaching of the majestic & magnificent rhinos once and for all.” 

He added, “The exercise is a milestone towards rhino conservation aimed at busting myths about rhino horns.” 

On September 16, the Assam cabinet unanimously decided to publicly burn 2467 pieces of rhino horns out of 2,623 rhino horns stockpiled in state treasuries.

While 94 rhino horns will be kept and preserved as heritage pieces for academic purposes and public viewing.