HA NOI (VNS)– The Government has given the go-ahead to a plan to protect elephants from extinction and breed domesticated ones.
The plan, worth VND278 billion (US$13.3 million), was signed yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Hong Trung Ha?i.
Under the plan, three conservation areas for wild elephants will be set up in national parks of Pu Mat, Cat Tien, and Yok Don.
And laws against hunting, transporting and selling elephant meat or tusks will be tightened.
The plan also aims to control the trading and import or export of tusks and other products from elephants, and strictly punish those involved in killing the animals.
"Domesticated" elephants feeding in Ha Tinh province's Vu Quang National Park and Central Highland Lam Dong Province's Nam Huoai Forest, will be moved to the Elephant Conservation Centre and Yok Don National Park in Central Highland Dak Lak Province.
Statistics from the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry show that only 75-130 wild elephants remain in forest areas along the borders of Viet Nam and Laos.
They are scattered in provinces in Dong Nai, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Nam, Thanh Hoa and central highland areas.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been assigned to co-operate with relevant agencies to operating the plan.
The plan will be funded from the State Budget and international organisations and individuals.– VNS