Stop the Dehorning of Rhinos


Target: Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare

Goal: Stop amputating a large body part from rhinos to “protect” them from poachers.

A group of animal advocates in Africa have been removing the horns from rhinos with a chainsaw, supposedly to protect them from poachers. One might think this is simply a well-meaning but misguided gesture, but it is just as unethical as poaching the animals for their horns. The rhinos are drugged with tranquilizers and blindfolded before their horns are cut off and the stumps filed down. The process has been compared to trimming down a horse’s hooves.

This practice is supposed to lessen the appeal of hunting rhinos by taking away what the poachers are after. Unfortunately, this practice comes across as cruel and inhumane. The rhinos are forcibly drugged into having a part of their body removed. These people are not much better than the poachers.

Dehorning is essentially the same as declawing a cat. It is the amputation of a body part that will cause the animal pain before the long, grueling healing process is over. Rhinos do not deserve to suffer more than they already have. Sign this petition to stop this unethical practice.


Dear Mr. Downes,

Animal advocates in Africa are attempting to protect the rhino population by knocking them out and removing their horns while they sleep. This may seem like a well-meaning attempt to discourage poachers, but the ends do not justify the means when it involves forcibly removing body parts from animals. Poaching bans should simply be enforced and perpetrators punished severely–the rhinos themselves should not have to have their horns taken away because the advocates think it will protect them.

Please put a stop to this cruel and unethical practice and strengthen the ban against poaching. There are plenty of humane ways to protect an endangered species without them having to be harmed further than they already have.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: tracyhammond

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  1. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    Many Vets are donating their time and effort to stop the extinction of these Rhinos. The horn is coiled dead hair and therefore has no sensitivity.
    Yes the animals are tranquillised, and the horn removed quickly and definitely painlessly by saw. Then the edges rounded as to take the rough edges off.
    These horns are rarely needed apart from fighting, so the animal will have that feeling of lightness for a while when it wakes up.
    It is exactly no different from cutting excessive growth from horses hooves, trimming dog and cats claws, cutting your own fingernails!
    There is no blood like declawing cats or de-horning horns of cattle!
    Far better to save this species, than have it wounded and a poacher chainsaws half it head off and leave them to die….!
    Please get your story straight. Or better still give an alternative solution, very fast as days are running out.
    I wont be signing your petition to allow this species to disappear of this planet forever.

  2. Brenda Andersen says:

    Well said, Rosslyn. I will also not sign this petition – rather remove their horns than let them die at the hands of poachers.

  3. Suzanna van der Voort says:

    I have signed this petition because the reason to remove the horn has also a lot of money involved. When this was the only way to protect the rhinos, I agree. On television was a man with more rhinos living on his ranch than rhinos running free in the wild. He is also claiming to protect his rhinos by removing their horns, but….he is hoping/fighting to change the law so it will be legal to sell his rhino horns for a lot of money! I think the leaders of those countries who are approving to sell and buy rhino horns for a stupid fairy tale can do more: severe punishments (dead penalty) and education to their people.
    This matter is not easy, because of the money involved and a lot of corruption everywhere. Sorry for my mistakes in language.

  4. Suzanna van der Voort says:

    By the way: dehorning is NOT the same as declawing a cat!!! Declawing a cat is cruel an very painful, because a part of their claws (bones) are being cut off, not the same as clipping your nails, but removing a part of your fingers! Declawing is a cruel amputation of body parts and not necessary at all!! When you have a cat, you can buy tools/toys for him/her where he can scratch, so he will stay away of your precious furniture.
    Removing the horn of a rhino is not painful at all, because they only remove hair.

  5. This is utter nonsense i will not sign this petition. Do u have any idea how the poachers kill them?? At an alarming rate of 1 rhino every 3 -6 hrs!! Wish i could show u the one they brutally hacked on the 23rd of Sept. Using a chain-saw and then pangas to hack his whole face of deep into his nose cavaties!! All this whilst his alive – check it out on SAVING THE SURVIVORS. The rhinos don’t need their horns to stay alive. REMOVAL OF THE HORNS ACTUALLY KEEPS THEM ALIVE. Do not sign this STUPID PETITION. THANK U.

  6. This is the most wrong-headed petition I’ve ever seen.

  7. Gillian Miller says:

    Lindsay, this is not a wrong headed group of vets but an established and working method of protecting rhino. I would rather that they anesthetised the rhino and removed their horn than be darted from a helicopter and the horn removed so that they bleed to death whilst awake.

    I applaud your desire to protect rhinos but you need to understand what it is you need to do before making an idiot of yourself by not knowing how the current methods of protection work. Donate to help rangers, the WWF, Born Free etc and let them do their jobs to help protect the rhino. Badger countries to make poaching laws with severe penalties and ensure that the countries follow through but don’t post petitions about that which you obviously do not understand.

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