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Transparency sought in rhino horn verification

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - Wildlife welfare organisation Nature�s Beckon and Journalists� Forum Assam (JFA), while appreciating the recent initiative of the Government of Assam to conduct a verification of rhino horns kept in the custody of the forest department and different treasuries in the State, urged the government to make public the number of rhino horns in its custody since 1980.

�The people of Assam also must know how many 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 is not only an environmental affair, but also a social concern involving a number of conservation and civil society groups. �Hence Nature�s Beckon and JFA demand of the State government to reveal the modalities or mechanism to be followed while verifying the rhino horns kept in custody,� it added.

The Rhino Horn Verification Committee instituted by the State government had in a recent press statement said that while the process of verification of rhino horns would continue, only those horns that lead to suspicion regarding their authenticity would be sent for forensic tests.

However, the two organisations argued that each and every rhino horn should be authenticated through forensic tests. �We also appeal to the State government to inform the people of Assam 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 of the individuals engaged in the process of verification of rhino horns,� added the statement.

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Transparency sought in rhino horn verification

GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - Wildlife welfare organisation Nature�s Beckon and Journalists� Forum Assam (JFA), while appreciating the recent initiative of the Government of Assam to conduct a verification of rhino horns kept in the custody of the forest department and different treasuries in the State, urged the government to make public the number of rhino horns in its custody since 1980.

�The people of Assam also must know how many 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 is not only an environmental affair, but also a social concern involving a number of conservation and civil society groups. �Hence Nature�s Beckon and JFA demand of the State government to reveal the modalities or mechanism to be followed while verifying the rhino horns kept in custody,� it added.

The Rhino Horn Verification Committee instituted by the State government had in a recent press statement said that while the process of verification of rhino horns would continue, only those horns that lead to suspicion regarding their authenticity would be sent for forensic tests.

However, the two organisations argued that each and every rhino horn should be authenticated through forensic tests. �We also appeal to the State government to inform the people of Assam 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 of the individuals engaged in the process of verification of rhino horns,� added the statement.

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