HCMC – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued Directive No. 29/CT-TTg on measures to restrict the trade and consumption of wildlife, a problem that has had devastating impacts and caused concern for many years.
The directive bans the import of live wild animals and wildlife products, strictly eliminates any wildlife markets and prohibits hunting, transporting, slaughtering, selling, buying, storing, consuming or advertising of wildlife, including online sales.
It also strengthens measures to monitor epidemics and veterinary hygiene at permitted wildlife farming operations in accordance with the Law on Livestock and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The prime minister assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the primary responsibility of leading these efforts and coordinating with relevant agencies, while the Ministry of Public Security was asked to strengthen the enforcement of violations.
According to WildAid Vietnam representative Hoang Thi Minh Hong, the issuance of this directive is exceptionally important after the Covid-19 pandemic once again provides evidence of wildlife-to-human infectious disease transmission.
A recent survey by the World Wildlife Fund and GlobeScan showed that some three-quarters of Vietnamese people agreed that a closure of markets where wild animals are sold and the closure of illegal and unregulated wildlife restaurants would be effective in preventing a similar outbreak in the future.
Some 15% of Vietnamese respondents admitted that they have either bought or know someone who has bought wildlife products in an open wildlife market in the past 12 months. Together with Thailand, this is the highest figure among the five Asian countries surveyed.
“Vietnam’s Government shows strong leadership with this comprehensive action and focus on stopping imports, closing all wildlife markets and prohibiting any consumption, buying and advertising. These actions will help save many species while also protecting global health,” noted John Baker, chief program officer of environmental organization WildAid.
According to WildAid, business leaders in Vietnam have also helped with wildlife protection. Over 40 leaders from the country’s top companies as well as leaders from several international chambers of commerce have joined the “Pledge for Wildlife” not to buy, consume or gift any wildlife products.
“It is not too late to end the unsustainable trade that is putting wildlife on the brink of extinction,” stated Paul Thomson, director of the Pangolin Crisis Fund. A united effort involving governments, citizens and conservation groups can turn the tide for threatened species, he added.