Half of Vietnam metro residents have eaten bushmeat: survey

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More than half of Ho Chi Minh City residents said they have eaten bushmeat, of which 48 percent have consumed more than three times per year, according to the latest findings by Wildlife At Risk (WAR).

The Ho Chi Minh City-based NGO carried out the survey about the consumption of wild animal products in HCMC on 4,000 city dwellers and 3,600 secondary school students between August 2010 and April 2011.

Bushmeat is wild animal product that can include endangered species.

The survey released Monday reveals men consume more wild animal products than women, and restaurants in HCMC are the most common place for people to eat the meat.

The majority of polled people say they eat bushmeat because others invite them, or they want to try new experiences or they feel the meat is more delicious. 

According to the survey, middle-aged people (36-45 years old), state workers and people with high education levels have a tendency to consume wild animal products more than other groups.

As for secondary school students (aged between 11 and 14), 28.2 percent of them say they have eaten bushmeat, and their acts are influenced by their parents and other adults in the family.

Unlike adults, these teenagers usually eat the meat during trips in other provinces or in family events like birthday parties.

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The survey reveals most polled people think that hunting and trading of wild animal products is the biggest threat to wild species. In fact, consumption of wildlife products is the biggest threat because it pushes illegal hunting and trading, putting wild animals at risk of extinction.

The majority of polled residents and students do not know and do not remember the correct telephone number to report wildlife hunting and trading crimes.

The survey says students have a good attitude towards wild animal protection and are more willing to take part in wild animal protection than adults.

According to WAR, communication and education programs need to be designed for residents and students in order to prevent endangered wildlife consumption.

It says animal products from legal farming should be introduced as a substitute.

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