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Online wildlife market bustling

Staying out of the reach of the state agencies, remaining anonymous and bearing no limitation, the wildlife market on Internet has got more bustling than ever.

VietNamNet Bridge – Staying out of the reach of the state agencies, remaining anonymous and bearing no limitation, the wildlife market on Internet has got more bustling than ever.


Everything available at the market

“Two pairs of African elephant tusks (1.6 meters in length for each) and 6 rhino horns are available. A pair of tusk priced at $35,000, while a rhino horn $10,000. Please email to…,” the ad piece reads.

“A genuine rare rhino horn (7cm x 2 cm x 1cm) is on sale, VND120 million. Please contact 093…” another ad piece says.

“Tusks of boars, tigers, elephant tusks and elephant tale feathers are on sale in big quantity. Genuine products. Buyers can bring products for having tested.” Such offers can be found easily on some websites.

All kinds of wildlife meat, bone or tusks can be traded at the online markets. People not only can seek to purchase rhino horns or elephants tusks, but also can find rare wild animals sellers by searching on Google with familiar phrases of words. The sellers commit to satisfy any demands of the buyers, in any quantity, from one to unlimited number of animal individuals.

When reporters contacted a given mobile phone number on April 22 afternoon after reading an ad piece posted by a person named Tam in HCM City just some days before, they heard that Tam wanted to sell a rhino horn from Africa at VND120 million.

“I bought the rhino horn for the family’s use. However, I have decided to sell it because I need some money urgently,” he told the reporters.

Tam tried to persuade the reporters to buy the horn, saying that it is a genuine product, and that the price could be negotiable.

Another man named Cuong advertised on a website that he has young bears and tigers to sell. In order to convince the buyers on the quality of the products, Cuong said the animals are from a well-known farm in Thanh Hoa province. Especially, the offered payment method was convenient to buyers: they can get deliveries at home and pay on the deliveries.

Breeding wild animals now in fashion

A report of the wildlife animal conservation association showed that Internet has become a popular channel for trading wild animals.

Of the 108 wildlife species appearing in the ad pieces on 33 websites found in July and August 2012, the report says, 24 percent are the species being protected by the Vietnamese laws, while the other 24 protected by CITES. Especially, 17.6 percent of the species on sale have been listed as endangered species all over the globe.

There are more Vietnamese wildlife species on sale than the imported species (68 percent vs. 32 percent).

The report has also found out that people buy wildlife mostly for ornamental display (84 percent), for food (9 percent) and for other purposes, including for making medicine.

Dr. Scott Roberton, Director of the Vietnam Wildlife Conservation Association, has noted that wild animals have been traded in a large scale on Internet for a long time, but this still has not caught the attention from the Vietnamese competent agencies. Meanwhile, in the world, this is an area put under the strict control of the authorities.

He has warned that trading wildlife on Internet has become a growing tendency which would even develop more strongly in the next five or 10 years, if Vietnam does not takes action to prevent this.



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