|Illustrative image (Source: VNA)|
This is the fifth time Vietnam has handed over such samples to South Africa, which were seized by local authorities in illegal wildlife trafficking cases.
Pham Van Dien, deputy head of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), said the sample handover is part of Vietnam’s responsible implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), including Resolution Conf.9.14 (Rev. CoP15) on the Conservation of and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses.
It also shows the close cooperation between Vietnam and South Africa in fighting illegal wildlife trafficking, he said.
South African Ambassador to Vietnam MK Lekgoro said the handing over of the rhino horn samples to the CITES Management Authority of South Africa is a practical manifestation of the joint commitment of the two countries to fighting wildlife trafficking and also contributes to protecting the animal.
The rhino horn DNA samples, which are from illegal importing and trafficking cases, are expected to support authorised agencies in determining their origin and identifying those responsible.
Vietnam has uncovered many wildlife trafficking cases in recent years, including two in 2020. On December 22, authorities at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City seized 93 kg of rhino horn, while authorities at the Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh province confiscated 7.8 kg on December 12.
The animal protection organisation Humane Society International and Vietnam Airlines began a campaign against the consumption of rhino horn consumption by screening a short film,