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Vietnam has got a red card for a lot of shortcomings in the wildlife protection. Despite a sufficient legal framework on the issue, wild animals still have been hunted and killed to get extinct.
In the WWF’s report about the implementation of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), Vietnam appeared as one of the nations that have the most worrying results in their efforts to protect the wildlife.
The information has made scientists and conservationists once again voice their worries about the wildlife protection in Vietnam, saying that loopholes of the laws have been exploited to kill wild animals for profit.
The laws encourage poaching?
Not feeling too pessimistic about the warning given by WWF. Professor Dang Huy Huynh, Chair of the Vietnam Animal Association has affirmed that Vietnam has made a big leap in the protection of wild animals with many wildlife conservation programs and the issued legal documents.
Huynh said Vietnam falls behind other countries in the program to protect wildlife; therefore, shortcomings prove to be unavoidable. However, this does not mean that Vietnam can continue committing errors. Vietnam needs to take actions to protect wildlife and prevent the story with Javan rhinos from occurring with other species.
Also according to Professor Dang Huy Huynh, there are two legal documents that raise biggest worries to scientists and conservationists, which are the Decree No. 32 dated in 2006 on the endangered flora and fauna protection, and the Circular No. 90 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on how to deal with the rare and precious rare animals seized from smuggling cases.
The Article No. 9 of the Decree 32 allows trading and processing for commercial purpose the forest endangered rare and precious animals, listed in the II B Group, which are the seized exhibits in illegal trading cases, provided that the animals cannot be rescued or rehabilitated.
Huynh said that the legal provisions are inconsistent. The current laws prohibit to trade and hunt for wild animals, while the legal document allows processing and trading wild animals in the above said some cases.
The circular No. 90 allows selling and transferring dead animals to pharmacy companies or selling alive animals to legal animal breeding establishments. This is really a big loophole in the laws, because in the products would turn into drugs to be sold on the market.
Meanwhile, it’s still unclear about the functions of wild animals as drugs. Therefore, once Vietnam allows making medicine from wild animals, it would by accident encourage the killing and trade of wild animals.
Nguyen Viet Hung, Deputy Director of ENV (Education for Nature Vietnam), a non-government organization in Vietnam, said that the current regulations allow trading dead animals, but do not clearly stipulate exactly the situations of the dead animals.
Hung emphasized that this is loophole of the laws which has been exploited to continue with live wild animals. In many cases, after the animals were salvaged, they got weaker when they were carried to the temporary accommodations because of the habitat differences.
According to ENV, most of the wild animal auctions were organized just one or two days after the wild animals were discovered and seized. Some auctions were even organized at bight. Pangolin was one of the species available at most of the auctions. Management agencies say the buyers were the pangolin farms.
However, ENV has pointed out that in many cases, the farms trade wild animals for profits. They attended local bids and then sold wild animals on the market. In fact, it is not profitable to raise pangolin, because the animals cannot grow in the captivity conditions.
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