Vietnam crushed and burned more than 2 tonnes of rhino cornets
Hanoi( AFP)- Vietnam destroyed a huge stockpile of ivory and rhino horn Saturday, recommending the public to stop eating illegal wildlife products driving several species towards extinction.
The ivory and rhino horn trade is officially banned in Vietnam, but its use in traditional medicine and for adornment remains widespread, especially among the socialist country’s growing elite.
It is also a popular transit point for African ivory and rhino horn destined for neighbouring China, the main market for products fuelling the illicit and lucrative trade.
More than two tonnes of ivory and 70 kilogrammes( 154 pounds) of rhino horn were crushed and burned on the suburbs of Hanoi as armed guards protected the more than 30 crates of cornets, tusks and bones being destroyed.
” The government is committed to combating the illegal wildlife trade and the other message is that the government and Vietnamese people are not allowed to use the wildlife products that come from illegal trade ,” said Vuong Tien Manh, deputy director of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora( CITES ).
Rapacious cravings for cornets and tusks in parts of Asia have affected elephant and rhino populations in much of Africa, where poaching is rampant.
” Elephants are disappearing in certain areas and rhinos have almost vanished, so it is important to show the wishes of the the whole world to fight against poaching ,” Mozambique’s ambassador to Vietnam Gamaliel Munguambe told AFP at the event.
Conservationists have advised Vietnam’s government to crack down on smugglers who facilitate the trade.
” Vietnam is doing so much in terms of educating the public, trying to reduce demand, increasing the proportion of seizures — it’s a lot of positive news here, but there are some holes ,” said Teresa Telecky, Director of Wildlife at Humane Society International.
She urged the government to increase DNA sampling of ivory and rhino horn to track where the products were coming from to cut off furnish chains.
Saturday’s event came ahead of a major international wildlife seminar in Hanoi opening Thursday that will be attended by Britain’s Prince William, who has championed animal conservation.
Source: Business Insider UK