Tuesday, September 9, 2014

M-Net's Carte Blanche to show rhino horn injection insert this coming Sunday after story was pulled from the planned line-up at short notice.

M-Net's weekly investigative magazine show Carte Blanche will show the promised, then suddenly pulled follow-up rhino horn injection insert this coming Sunday after it was inexplicably pulled by producers shortly before broadcast.

Both George Mazarakis, Carte Blanche's executive producer and Patricia van Rooyen, M-Net CEO for sub-Sahara Africa were out of the country when the call was made to drop the insert - the second one about the same topic and apparently done to give a more "balanced" view - from this past Sunday's episode.

The previous Sunday, 31 August, Carte Blanche broadcast an insert on the injection of rhino horn with dyes and chemicals to deter rhino poachers, but the insert also cast aspersions on the methods of the Rhino Rescue Project (RRP) and asked whether its little more than a money-making scheme.

Viewers were highly critical of the programme.

A second part, a follow-up insert, was promised and planned to be broadcast Sunday, 7 September.

Last week, following the first insert, Carte Blanche said it's looking at the "infusion debate" and that "the effectiveness of rhino horn infusion is hotly contested and an emotional issue for animal lovers and conservationists alike".

"According to some scientists there is no evidence that the toxin and dye used actually infuses throughout the entire horn. But is it more effective as a psychological deterrent? While infusion has its detractors, some rhino owners swear by it."

The insert never aired.

Carte Blanche does make it very clear that it is a current affairs investigative magazine show and that the weekly line-up is subject to change at short notice.

On Sunday night just before the end of the Carte Blanche episode, anchor Bongani Bingwa told viewers "thank you for your response on social media to last week's story on rhino horn infusion. It seems this issue has really hit a nerve with concerned South Africans, and rightly so".

"Carte Blanche will revisit the story as the debate continues over this controversial method. We will keep you updated".