Vets look at treating traumatized rhino and make a donation to the SAVF rhino conservation fund

Rhino symposium Nov 2011

A group of eighty veterinarians gathered at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty on 26 November 2011 to discuss the “emerging epidemic” – rhino poaching. Veterinarians present were from all spheres of the profession ranging from academia, zoological gardens, government institutions as well as the private sector. As a profession we are alarmed by the annual increase in the murder of these majestic animals. We are committed to assist in the wellbeing of all animals, but specifically commit ourselves to the plight of the rhino. As profession we support all the current efforts being made by several organisations to educate the public (local and abroad) and reduce the poaching epidemic.

We all realise that we have an enormous role to play in saving rhinos that were traumatised through poaching attempts and also to the surviving calves after the cows were killed. Our concerted efforts will be crucial in the long-term survival of the rhino. Furthermore we also accept our moral and ethical obligations in this regard and distance ourselves from any veterinarian not doing so.

 The main aim for the workshop was to develop uniform protocols and best practice principles for the treatment and care of injured rhinos, as well as post mortem and sampling techniques. These collected samples will aid in the improvement of our knowledge of rhinos and will help to improve their treatment. Vets are not alone in this and want to work closely with all role players in the industry relating to rhino farming and conservation, as well as the industry supplying our much needed drugs and equipment. The illegal and non-veterinary use of scheduled drugs is of great concern to us and we condemn this in the strongest possible way.

 At the end of the workshop an auction was held and the money raised was paid into the Rhino Conservation Fund managed by the South African Veterinary Foundation.

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