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Only severe punishment can help stop wildlife trafficking in Vietnam: NA deputies

A member of the National Assembly’s Legal Committee, Pham Van Hoa, said it is necessary to set up a mechanism which would supervise and severely punish the slaughter and trafficking of wildlife.

After local forest rangers could not find violators even though they were provided with information and proof, reporters decided to contact Do Quang Tung, director of the Department of Forest Protection.

 

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Tung promised that he would send a taskforce to the sites to conduct investigation.

Later, Dong Xuan Hung, a member of the special mission unit of the Department of Forest Protection, informed reporters that the officers of the unit were not available because they ‘are away on a mission’ and he will send staff to the site after several days.

Nearly one week later, Hung said the inspection still could not be carried out, but affirmed that the inspection will be implemented, and that he has asked for cooperation with relevant units to do this more effectively.

It is necessary to set up a mechanism which would supervise and severely punish the slaughter and trafficking of wildlife.

However, 1.5 months after the day, no progress has been made.


Explaining the tardiness, Hung said that examining the market areas is a very complicated work, and that it is necessary to do preparatory works to ensure the effectiveness of the inspections.

While waiting for the appropriate agencies to inspect illegal wildlife trafficking markets, more and more wild animals continue to be slaughtered and traded every day.

Regarding the responsibility of state agencies in protecting wildlife, Tung said controlling markets is the responsibility of local authorities. If the wildlife slaughtering and trading occur in localities, they have to report and request the cooperation of the police and forest rangers’ units to stop the trading. But in this case, local authorities did not do this.

Also according to Tung, wildlife trafficking is a violation of the law, therefore, appropriate agencies and local authorities, not only forest rangers, have to get involved in dealing with the violations.

When asked why no inspection result has been reported though the information about the wildlife trafficking was provided 1.5 months ago, Tung said the first thing the special mission unit needs to do after receiving the information is to send local forest rangers to the site to get more information and ask local forest rangers to deal with the case.

If local forest rangers cannot do this, they can ask for help from the department.

However, the staff of the department is modest, and Tung once again emphasized the responsibility of local authorities in the fight against wildlife trafficking.

Meanwhile, Bui Thi Ha, deputy director of the Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) said that illegal wildlife hunting and trading has increased rapidly, which is the major factor leading to the decline of wildlife population. 

Linh Ha

 

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