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Nation denies WWF claim of negligence

Update: August, 08/2012 - 09:57


A dead tiger that was seized by the Binh Duong Province's Forest Management Department is handed over to the provincial museum in June. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Chi Tuong
HCM CITY — The CITES Authority of Viet Nam has rejected a World Wildlife Fund report that rates Viet Nam as the worst performer in wild animal protection, saying it is not objective or thorough.

The report criticised Viet Nam for its failure to combat trade in rhino and tiger body parts, and gave it two red scores – one each for the rhino and tiger – in the fund's Wildlife Crime Scorecard, which rated 23 African and Asian nations known for high levels of poaching and trafficking in ivory, rhino horns, and tiger parts.

The scorecard hands out green, yellow, and red scores for tigers, rhinos, and elephants to indicate recent progress in complying with CITES commitments.

Do Quang Tung, director of the CITES Authority of Viet Nam, was quoted by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper as saying the report could hamper Viet Nam's efforts and prestige in combating the illegal trade of wild animals.

The country has recently made great efforts to crack down on the smuggling in of wild animals from other countries, he said.

In the last six months five trafficking gangs were busted, and tiger bodies seized from three of them and 30kg of rhino horns from the other two, he said.

The country is doing quite well in complying with CITES conventions and in conservation of wild animals in general, he said.

"The WWF report only mentions rhino, tiger, and elephant. It was done by collecting unofficial information from non-governmental organisations, the media, and individuals, and without any consultation with legal compliance agencies."

He said the country allows tiger breeding only for non-commercial purposes and pointing out that tigers in an eco-tourism park in Nghe An had delivered cubs.

The CITES Authority of Viet Nam has pledged to take action to win recognition for the country's efforts to protect wildlife.

CITES, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, was created in 1960s and has 176 signatories. — VNS

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