|Northern Quang Ninh Province's People's Committee has officially ordered an immediate crackdown on illegal tours to bear farms in Ha Long City – an area well known for its illegal bear bile business.— Photo Hung Vo
QUANG NINH (VNS)— Northern Quang Ninh Province's People's Committee has officially ordered an immediate crackdown on illegal tours to bear farms in Ha Long City – an area well known for its illegal bear bile business.
An official document signed by the vice chairman of the province, Dang Huy Hau, orders the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to co-operate with Education for Nature Viet Nam (ENV), a domestic non-governmental organisation (NGO) to find ways to move bears being kept in captivity out of the city.
The department has been told to send a report on actions to the People's Committee before next Monday.
A study carried out by ENV found that Nguyen Thanh Nhuong, 42, of the province's Yen Hung District, owner of two bear farms located in the city's Ha Khau Ward, had been asked to shut down his bear farms and commit to not receiving tourists.
However, 38 coaches carrying international tourists visited the two bear farms between last year's December 1 and 23.
Hau asked the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department to call on international tourists, especially those from South Korea, to not participate in bear bile tours in the city, Hau said.
According to ENV, Viet Nam is home to two species of bears, the Asiatic black bear (Ursus Thibetanus) and the Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus).
Both species are protected under Viet Nam's wildlife protection law. It is illegal to hunt, trap, possess, kill, sell or advertise bears or bear products in the country.
The National Forest Protection Department estimates that 2,385 bears remain in captivity nationwide. — VNS