Thanh Hoa is called a "birds’ hell" because it is the area where birds, storks, eagles and wildlife are kept in captivity and slaughtered. It has the biggest wildlife market in Vietnam.
Visitors to the market can see how sellers break off wings, poke eyes, pluck hair and burn birds alive. They also can see hundreds of iron cages containing hundreds of thousand of snakes, turtles and rare and precious animals belonging to the 1B group.
Sometimes the owners of the wildlife cages disembowel or kill the birds just by throwing boiling water on them, butchering them and then selling to visitors.
The market is always bustling and its trading scale is "extremely large" as described by Dao, the owner of a stall at Thanh Hoa Market.
Reporters who acted as buyers seeking to buy birds in big quantities to carry to Hanoi were told by Dao that she can provide products and that 100 percent of birds are wild.
“All the birds here are ‘natural’. They are caught by farmers from the fields or natural forests in the buffer zone of Tram Chim National Park and Lang Sen Natural Reserves,” she said.
|Visitors to the market can see how sellers break off wings, poke eyes, pluck hair and burn birds alive. They also can see hundreds of iron cages containing hundreds of thousand of snakes, turtles and rare and precious animals belonging to the 1B group.|
Dao led the reporters to the area where there are cold stores full of frozen meat. Hundreds of slaughtered birds are kept there before they are carried away.
“We have to pay high for electricity here, VND7,000 per kwh. Therefore, we have only several cold stores here. But we have more slaughtered birds kept at the refrigerators at home,” she explained.
A man named Phong called reporters on the afternoon of the same day, saying he was having birds collected directly from hunters and could provide birds at any time.
The farmers catch the birds in the wild in southern provinces, especially in Dong Thap.
When reporters met Phong at Thanh Hoa Market later, Phong said he had just delivered 70 kilograms of birds to the shops at the market for retail.
“In the months from March to September 2019, I sent 300 birds every day to the north,” Phong said, estimating that he delivered 80,000 birds, or 16 tons, during that time.
Not only Phong and Dao, all the sellers, when asked if they could provide birds in large quantities, said they could satisfy all the orders.
A question was raised about how the wild birds can be carried to the north. “Our products can be either alive or frozen and are transported by passenger car, frozen truck and even aircraft,” Phong said, adding that frozen products arrive in Hanoi after two days.
Kim Dong Publishing House on March 11 released a new book dedicated to wildlife, Chang Hoang Da – Gau (Wild Chang and Bear), the first volume in a series about wildlife protection.
Eliminating wildlife markets amid Covid-19 is an uphill task as local officials neglect responsibility
Over 1,500 cases of violations of laws on wildlife protection were discovered within the 2013-2017 period.