HA NOI — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has called on citizens not to consume endangered wildlife ahead of Tet, when the practice is particularly widespread.
|Varans are illegally kept at a private residence in Ninh Hoa Town in Khanh Hoa Province. The public has been asked not to participate in the trade in endangered wildlife. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Duc
There has been an increase in the illegal hunting, trading and consumption of wild animals in recent years and this is one of key reasons for the high risk of extinction facing especially rare and precious wild animals.
The demand for wildlife during Tet usually increases compared to other times of the year.
“This is typically a peak time for the trading of various kinds of commodities, including products made from rare wildlife to offer as presents,” Tran Trong Anh Tuan from the Viet Nam Environment Administration’s Agency for Biodiversity Conservation told Viet Nam News.
“Favourite products for Tet include tiger bone glue, rhinoceros horns, pangolins and wild animal meat,” he said.
During last year’s Tet holiday period, authorities in six provinces stopped 20 instances of illegal pangolin transportation and seized nearly 800 pangolins.
The MoNRE has called on its own officials and other government workers to set a good example and refrain from buying, selling, using, giving or receiving presents that are products made from endangered species.
Some of them have been accused of organising parties where endangered species can be eaten and products given as gifts.
Guidance has been given to officers and employees to strictly follow laws and regulations for endangered wildlife conservation and the ministry has called for more to be done to raise public awareness of the issue.
Vice Chairman of the Ha Noi’s People’s Committee Vu Hong Khanh has instructed Ha Noi’s departments and all sectors in the city to say “no” to food or products originating from endangered wildlife.
More than 900 violations of wildlife protection regulations were uncovered in 2012 and over 19,100 wild animals were confiscated, according to the Forest Management Department.
Under current laws, violators will be fined up to VND500 million (US$23,800) or sentenced to up to seven years’ imprisonment depending on the severity of their infringement. — VNS