The Ministry of National Resources and Environment on Tuesday renewed its call for people to refrain from trading in or consuming wild life products this Lunar New Year.
The appeal comes as such activities tend to pick up at this time of the year as the Tet festival approaches.
The ministry instructed that organizations and individuals do not sell, buy, use, give or receive any products from endangered wild animals including tiger bone glue, rhino horns and wildlife meat.
All government agencies and local authorities should inform the people of regulations and prohibitions related to the wildlife conservation, it said.
Concerned agencies should be vigilant in detecting and punishing those who violate the law, it added.
The ministry encouraged organizations, companies and individuals to inform authorities about any violations they come to their notice.
Under Vietnamese law, anyone who illegally hunts, kills, breeds and cages endangered wild animals, transports and/or trades parts of their bodies or products made from them will be fined from VND50-500 million (US$2,400-24,000). They can also be sentenced to jail for up to seven years.
As of November 2012, the Education for Nature Vietnam’s Wildlife Crime Unit, established in 2005 to foster public involvement in combating wildlife trade, detected and tracked more than 4,500 cases related to wildlife consumption and trade in Vietnam following people’s complaints.
A WWF report last year released a report covering how 23 countries in Asia and Africa protect their rhino, tiger and elephant populations. It ranked Vietnam as the worst country in tackling wildlife crimes.
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