VietNamNet Bridge – The Bac Ninh provincial authorities recently put up for auction 42 Java pangolins, an endangered species, that were seized in the province.



Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) reported that the Bac Ninh provincial Forest Rangers Unit on February 1, 2015 received the 42 animals from the Environment Policy Department. The pangolins had been discovered when the police tracked down a wildlife trading ring.

The Bac Ninh provincial People’s Committee on February 2, 2015 released a decision to fine the violators and then organized a pangolin auction.

ENV opposed the local authorities’ decision, emphasizing that the action seriously violated current laws on protecting wildlife.

Environmentalists have also expressed surprise at the Bac Ninh authorities’ move, saying that the fine was not sufficient to punish and deter criminals.

They also said that Bac Ninh agencies had acted as an “important link” in returning the wild animals to the market, but in a legal way.

Le Van Minh, head of the Bac Ninh provincial Forest Rangers’ Unit, interviewed by the Voice of Vietnam on February 5,2015 explained that the Java pangolin individuals were then in a bad state, and could not be saved.

Therefore, the forest rangers’ unit decided to sell the pangolins as soon as they could.

According to Minh, their state of health was examined by the animal health sub-department and experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

However, Minh denied that the pangolins were auctioned. He said that after searching for information on the internet about pangolin prices, the forest rangers’ unit contacted licensed trading establishments and invited them to buy the pangolins. The collected money has since been seized.

Meanwhile, ENV, in its official documents, said the Java pangolin faced the risk extinction because of increased cases of illegal hunting and trading, and it must be seriously protected.

The organization said that the Java pangolin is found on the list of wildlife for prioritized protection as stipulated in the government Decree No 160. This means the pangolin must be protected at the highest level, similar to that given to bears, tiger, elephants and rhinos.

Hunting, carrying, breeding in captivity and trading of pangolins and their organs is subject to criminal prosecution.

The exhibits in the pangolin illegal trade case should have been dealt with in accordance with the government decree No 160, while they must not be auctioned.

Thien Nhien