Renowned American actress Maggie Q said at a press conference on the “Stop Using Rhino Horn” campaign in Hanoi on Friday that Vietnam can help save rhinos and become a leader by taking strong action and showing the world the country can end the trade in rhino horn.
She said it saddened her to see the number of rhinos killed for their horns on the premise that the animal holds special curative properties.
“It’s almost impossible to believe Vietnam is [the world’s] number one consumer of rhino horns. I don’t want to believe that they [the consumers] don’t care, I do believe that they don’t know,” Maggie Q, the campaign’s international ambassador, said at the conference.
The actress emphasized that the act of selling illegal wildlife products is criminal and if people give money to the trade, that means they are funding criminals. She believed that education and media campaigns are very helpful in preventing this illegal trade.
“I would like to help make people aware of the impacts and persuade them to stop buying rhino horns,” said Maggie Q. “When the buying stops, the killing can too,” she echoed the campaign’s slogan.
Maggie Q will stay in Vietnam until April 13 for the campaign which is jointly run by WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation, and CHANGE.
She will attend the “Ticket to the Wild” event in Ho Chi Minh City together with a number of the campaign’s other ambassadors and friends, and pay a visit to the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Center in order to promote the conservation of pangolins.
Maggie Q, who was born to a Vietnamese mother and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, was catapulted to international fame starring in action-thriller series “Nikita” that aired from 2010 to 2013.
The 35-year-old actress is also known for her roles in “Rush Hour 2,” “Naked Weapon,” “Mission Impossible 3,” and her latest film “The Divergent Series: Insurgent.”
She is a fixture on world-famous fashion magazines as a model. The actress has been active in animal conservation and environmental protection. She carved out a successful modeling career in Hong Kong.
Maggie Q and actor McDermott were engaged late last year.
75% of Vietnamese think rhino horn has medical effects: survey
According to a survey using door-to-door and face-to-face interviews of 400 individuals, both females and males in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, conducted by AC Nielsen in late 2014, 75 percent of the respondents thought rhino horn has health and medical benefits, particularly treatment of diseases.
Sixty-one percent believed rhino horn can cure a disease while thirty percent reckoned the horn can be used to strengthen health, according to the survey.
Twelve percent thought rhino horn can be used to prevent sickness, the study said, adding that seventy-nine percent knew rhino horn has medical effects based on word of mouth.
Of the participants who believed rhino horn has medical effects (75 percent), half thought it can be used to cure cancer, 42 percent to treat rheumatism, 22 percent to treat impotence , 22 percent to ease effects of a stroke, 16 percent to treat fever, and 15 percent to soothe hangovers.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has concluded that rhino horn is not able to treat cancer, rheumatism, strokes, or to enhance sex life.