By Sue Maclennan
Volunteer-based organisation Breaking the Brand has embarked on a media campaign to corner Dallas Safari Club, which recently sold a permit to an American hunter to kill a black rhino in Namibia.
In a multi-pronged approach, they have recruited activists worldwide to promote an anti-poaching poster campaign to their local media.
It entails challenging the Dallas Safari Club to fund an advertising campaign in Vietnamese capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, targeting the main purchasers of rhino horn.
Grahamstown poet and anti-poaching campaigner Harry Owen has put his weight behind the campaign.
The Club's grants page says the funds it raises go toward grants that directly support its mission of education, conservation and protecting hunters' rights.
The campaign aims to challenge the "wealthy members" of the Dallas Safari Club to "demonstrate that they genuinely want to help save the rhino".
In their media release, the campaign states: "The quickest way to stop the current rhino poaching spike is to directly target the small number of users of authentic rhino horn in Vietnam.
"By matching the $350 000 paid for the licence to shoot a rhino we can place adverts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City focusing on the key purchasers of rhino horn driving up the poaching.
"$350,000 will give the Breaking The Brand project enough money to publish adverts for at least 30 weeks throughout 2014.
"This continuous message, placed in the primary locations that the users frequent will maximize the chance of driving behaviour change."
Owen, who last year edited and published the international anthology, For Rhino in a Shrinking World (http://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com), introduced the campaign as follows:
"In 2013 for the first time more than 1 000 rhinos were slaughtered by poachers in South Africa and yet we read of an American hunting group auctioning a black rhino for death in Namibia."
To read more about the campaign go to: http://breakingthebrand.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Media-Release-Challenge-to-Dallas-Safari-Club.pdf