|The five poachers at the trial on Tuesday. Photo vtc.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Con Cuông District People’s Court in the central province of Nghệ An has sentenced five poachers to a total of 13 years and six months in prison for violating regulations on protection of endangered, precious and rare animals.
At a mobile trial on June 25, Lô Văn Hằng and Viêng Văn Thủy got four and three years in prison, respectively, while Viêng Văn Sinh was sentenced to 30 months and Lô Văn Hậu and Vi Văn Hải got 24 months each.
According to the verdict, on January 9, 2019, the men took handmade guns and traps into the Pù Mát National Park in Con Cuông District’s Châu Khê Commune to hunt wild animals. Two days later, Hằng and Sinh spotted two Phayre's langurs which Hằng shot dead. The same day, forest rangers discovered the two dead langurs, five flintlock pistols, five knives and several traps at the poachers’ camp along with dried boar meat and a live boar.
The five were prosecuted for violating regulations on the management and protection of endangered, precious and rare animals according to Article 244 of the Criminal Code 2015.
Nguyễn Văn Thái, executive director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife organisation, said this was the first criminally prosecuted case of wild animal hunting in the park since 2005.
Trần Xuân Cường, head of the park, said forest rangers and forest protection groups would intensify patrols in the area, adding that the park had held 12 training classes to educate local residents about the laws on forest protection since late 2018.
Phayre's langur is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN). The mammal is endemic to Southeast Asia.
Many Vietnamese people kill wild animals for food. Hunting, caging, trading, transporting or killing protected wild animals are all prohibited under Vietnamese law. — VNS