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Elle MacPherson Comes Under Fire for Illegally Using Rhinoceros Horn

July 7, 2010, 3:16 am GMT

The use of rhinoceros horn for medical purpose is banned worldwide by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) but Elle MacPherson used it anyway.

Elle MacPherson

Supermodel Elle MacPherson has sparked outrage among animal rights campaigners after she advocated the use of a banned Chinese medicine made from rhinoceros horn. The Australian beauty revealed in an interview with Britain's Sunday Times - conducted via Twitter.com - that she ingests powdered rhinoceros horn for medicinal purposes.

Macpherson wrote, "(It is) a little bit like crushed bone and fungus in a capsule. Does the job though... Put it this way, works for me." The remedy is banned worldwide by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in a bid to stop rhinos being slaughtered by poachers, and Macpherson's comments have infuriated animal rights groups.

Nicola Beynon, of the Humane Society International, says, "The Humane Society International condemns the poaching of rhinos, particularly for their use in beauty products and Ms Macpherson's actions are reprehensible."

International Fund for Animal Welfare spokeswoman Erica Martin adds, "There is no excuse for using any endangered animal products. First and foremost, selling rhino products is illegal and in breach of CITES and secondly four out of five species of rhino are literally on the brink of extinction."

"Elle has been a successful businesswoman with a high public profile for decades and people do listen to what she says. Elle needs to take responsibility for her comments and encourage people to look to sustainable alternative medicines."

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