Would colouring animal horns stop illegal poaching?

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Offline thedoc

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kenneth lelliott  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Most of us are utterly apalled at the continual
killing of elephants and other animals simply for their horns.
I have sometimes wondered, if it was possble in some way, if discolouring
the horns by the injection of a chemical or organic substance would destroy the market value  and the lives of many animals would be saved.

Listening to your programme on ´talkradioeurope´yesterday about white spots on finger nails my interest in animal horns was reawakened!
I understand that keratin is the basic substance in both animal horns and fingernails. Yours discussion about the finger nail spots told that apart
from impact damage the spots can be caused by a lack of things like iron and zinc and also, possibly, the presence of organic substances resulting from illness etc. It is also  well known that discolouration can also occur because of a fungus..
If my suggestion makes any sense at all I would assume that animals subjected to a  ´treatment´ with a  ´tusk colouring agent, would need to be anethetised and a small hole(s) drilled into the tusk to facilitate the  ´injection! ´
Do tell me if I am completely mad or if my thoughts may have at least sparked some ideas that might lead to research on the subject !
         Sincerely   Ken Lelliott ex-pat  

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/10/2016 10:53:02 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Re: Would colouring animal horns stop illegal poaching?
« Reply #1 on: 18/10/2016 21:16:44 »
The recent prototype hornless dairy cows, achieved by inserting a segment of Angus (hornless) DNA to replace the equivalent segment of Holstein (horned)  DNA suggests that it might be possible to disable tusk growth in elephants or horn growth in rhinos.

Better a live hornless rhino than a dead hornless rhino!

Unlike cattle, there are no existing strains of hornless/tuskless animals in these wild species to use as a template, and experimenting on an already-endangered species is very risky.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdhJdVYkThU

If that doesn't work, try: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdhJdVYkThU


Offline alancalverd

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Re: Would colouring animal horns stop illegal poaching?
« Reply #2 on: 19/10/2016 07:11:15 »
I understand that various efforts have been made to de-horn wild rhinos or spoil the value of their horns by painting them. I fancy fitting an exploding horn to a kamikaze rhino and thus taking out the poachers at source. Problem is that as the rhinos get rarer, so the value of the horns increases.

Best of all, of course, would be a subtle propaganda campaign pointing out that only impotent weaklings and sexual failures need rhino horn, and only the feebleminded and gullible believe that it does any good. It is therefore beneficial to humanity to shun or kill anyone who has one. 

For those who need to demonstrate their masculinity by killing wild animals, I have the ultimate theme park. I  offer professional multi-camera video recordings of your naked cage fight with any animal you choose: bear, lion, bull, crocodile, whatever, as long as it weighs at least twice as much as you do and hasn't eaten for a week. We even up the odds by giving you a 3 inch knife. Any wuss can use a rifle, but it takes a Real Man to walk into my cage, and your loved ones will treasure their inheritance even if they never watch the film.

helping to stem the tide of ignorance