The government has called for a survey of the tiger population in Vietnam as well as an assessment of tiger farming as part of efforts to protect the endangered species.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to carry out the survey in coordination with concerned agencies to keep commitments made by Vietnam at the Global Tiger Summit in Russia.
In November 2010, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Bui Cach Tuyen, had led a delegation to the summit and pledged strong support for the Global Tiger Initiative.
An investigation carried out by the non-governmental organization, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), last year found several farms involved in the illegal trade of tiger bone. At least two other tiger farms in Vietnam had illegally traded live tigers or sold the remains of animals that had reportedly died on their farms, they said.
Conservationists have warned of a drastic decline of wild tigers in Vietnam over the past years due to poaching, shrinking habitat and lack of food supply.
In April 2007, the Prime Minister approved a proposal by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for legalizing tiger farming in Binh Duong.
Several organizations and individuals in the province at that time were maintaining farms with tigers and other endangered wildlife species of unknown origin.
The agriculture department requested that the farms be legalized as the tigers wouldn't survive and adapt to the wild if they were released.
A report in the Guardian newspaper last year said there were no more than 3,200 tigers left in the wild worldwide, of which only about 1,000 were breeding females. Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund has estimated that there are fewer than 30 wild tigers left in Vietnam.