[wildtrade] Vietnam Raids Restaurants Selling Exotic Meats
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Sun Sep 5 03:05:56 BST 2010
From: Stephen Denney <srdenney at gmail.com>
Date: 4 September 2010 1:01:28 PM PDT
To: vnnews-l at anu.edu.au
Subject: [vnnews-l] AH/LE: Vietnam Raids Restaurants Selling Exotic Meats
Green - Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line
September 3, 2010, 11:52 am
Vietnam Raids Restaurants Selling Exotic Meats
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF
Vietnamese forestry officials seized hundreds of pounds of illegal
wildlife from restaurants in a popular tourist province this week, in
what was one of the country’s largest such enforcement actions.
Illegal meat from from pangolins, mouse deer, monitor lizards and
sambar deer was confiscated, as well as bear paws and skins from
clouded leopards, binturong (also known as the Asian bearcat), and
several monkey and ape species.
A dozen restaurant owners were arrested, and a criminal investigation
of the poachers supplying the restaurants is under way. The raids
involved more than 100 wildlife agents. The Wildlife Conservation
Society, a nonprofit group, helped develop the campaign by surveying
restaurants in Lam Dong province.
“The campaign today is our warning shot to illegal wildlife traders
that Lam Dong province will not condone wildlife violators anymore,”
Tran Thanh Binh, the head of the Lam Dong Forest Protection
Department, said in a statement.
Experts warned that demand for exotic meat and the use of threatened
species in traditional medicines is damaging Vietnam’s biodiversity.
Illegal wildlife products are not just consumed within Vietnam, but
exported across the border to China in what researchers call a booming
Joe Walston, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Asian
programs, called the illegal trade in wildlife the “single largest
threat” to biodiversity in Asia. “Strict enforcement of existing
laws, such as what is happening in Lam Dong, is crucial to stemming
this crisis, so that wildlife can thrive for future generations,” he
said in a statement.
* Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company
* NYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018
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