Maggie Q, the star of Stalker and her fiance Dylan McDermott attended WildAid‘s Stop Using Rhino Horn event in Hanoi, Vietnam over the weekend.
“I am proud to be here as my mother is from Vietnam,” Maggie Q said to WildAid at the event. “It saddens me to see the news of the record number of rhinos killed so their horns can be sold in Vietnam. I would like to help make people aware of the devastating impacts of this trade and persuade them to stop buying rhino horn. I think Vietnam can become a leader by taking strong action and showing the world we can end the trade in rhino horn.”
A Nielsen survey was released showing that 75 percent of the people interviewed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City believe that rhino horn has health benefits. More than one third of the respondents believe that rhino horn can cure cancer. These benefits are medically unproven.
In 2014, WildAid launched a three-year campaign targeting Chinese and Vietnamese consumers of rhino horn. According to WildAid, in addition to raising awareness with their partners, African Wildlife Foundation and CHANGE, they are committed to assisting the Vietnamese government in strengthening the nation’s law enforcement efforts. The campaign will provide professionally trained detector dogs to Vietnam Customs in a joint partnership between WildAid, Working Dogs for Conservation (WDFC) and Vietnam Customs. Two dogs currently are being trained in the US to be able to detect several different wildlife scents, including rhino horn, ivory, tiger, and pangolin products, at Hai Phong Seaport in September.
WildAid believes that raising awareness and changing people’s behavior can end the trade in endangered wildlife, but only with effective law enforcement,” John Baker, the managing director of WildAid, said at the conference. “We also hope that the government of Vietnam will consider destroying its rhino horn stockpile to demonstrate its commitment to addressing the rhino horn trade.”
The campaign is also coordinating with Operation Game Change, an alliance to curb wildlife trafficking in Vietnam, especially the rhino trade, which is supported by the U.S. Embassy. “With a shared vision, Vietnam and the United States are seizing new opportunities and momentum to take stronger action against wildlife crime,” Deputy Chief of Mission to Vietnam, Claire Pierangelo, said at the event. “The United States is strengthening the skills of Vietnam’s law enforcement officers while foraging partnerships to reduce demand in wildlife products.”
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Maggie Q is a global ambassador for Wildaid and has been an advocate for animals for many years. She is also a vegetarian. she is best known for her work on Stalker and Nikita. David Beckham also serves as a WildAid ambassador.
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