News Brief (E398, December 31, 2010)

Top News

Quang Ninh: Requirement of People’s Committee on checking, reporting, and sanctioning the extraction and trade of bear bile
Responding for the public concerns, on December 17, Quang Ninh’s People’s Committee issued document number 4912/UBND-NLN2, requiring the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to co-operate with local authorities to enhance inspections and more strictly manage the number of captive bears in the province, as well as investigate the bear farms which openly extract and sell bear bile to foreign tourists in Ha Long City in accordance with the law. The People’s Committee has also asked DARD put forward a proposal on how to deal with violations. On December 24, in document number 1784/NN&PTNT-KL, Quang Ninh’s DARD replied that they had checked five bear farms and did not detect any instances of the open extraction or sale of bear bile in the province. This result of Quang Ninh’s DARD based on their investigation realized on June 11 2010.
(Vietnamese version)
QN yeu cau kiem tra bao cao xu ly viec chich hut mat gau
Bao cao cua so NN&PTNT QN ve viec chich hut mat gau

Hanoi: King cobras found in taxi
On December 26, authorities stopped a taxi and discovered a sack containing two cobrasweighing a total of 12.5kg. The owner of the snakes admitted that she had purchased them in Vinh Phuc province to sell in Hanoi. According to experts, the cobras were in fact King Cobras (Ophiophagus Hannah), which belong to group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP - the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be in captivity, hunted, traded or killed. The cobras have been transferred to the Soc Son Rescue Center.
(Vietnamese version)
Buon ban ran ho mang chua

Survey of snake wine in Vietnam
Two Australian post-graduate students recently conducted a survey of snakes soaked in rice wine in Vietnam. The results of the survey, published in the October 2010 edition of the ResearchofThreatened Speciesmagazine produced by Sydney University, concluded that “the popularity and economic values of the production of snake wine in Vietnam suggest the need to develop programs of sustainable use of these species”.

Exploited snake species in Vietnam are quite diverse, the most common being the water snake (Xenochrophis flavipunctatus), accounting for 47.4%. The cobra or Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) found in north Vietnam and China fetches the highest price and includes the King cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah), common cobra (Naja kaouthia) (found in Vietnam and Myanmar) and spitting cobra (Naja siamensis) (found in south Vietnam). All three species are listed in Vietnam’s Red Book and at risk of extinction. Moreover, the King cobra is critically endangered and listed in the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be transported or traded for commercial purposes. Other species are also found in rice wine, such as the Green tree racer (Trimeresurus sp), water snake and python.

The trade of snakes and snake wine raises concerns about the existence of wild snakes in the future, particularly for the most exploited species. Meanwhile, provisions relating to legal protection and prohibition of the exploitation and trade of wild snakes remain weak. Current conservation efforts usually only occur through law enforcement and seizures from the illegal trade of wildlife.
(Vietnamese version)
Quanh chuyen binh ruou ngam ran

Quang Ngai: Illegal coral haul dumped
On December 28, authorities from Quang Ngai province seized more than 10kg of illegal coral dumped on the side of a road after the driver of a van noticed that authorities were following and managed to evade arrest. Acts of illegal exploitation and destruction of reefs is covered by a Government decree and authorities are continuing with the investigation.
(Vietnamese version)
truy lung xe tai van chuyen san ho trai phep

Deforestation in Yok Don National Park
Yok Don National Park is widely considered one of the only areas left housing precious highland trees, but the struggle between forest guardians and poachers continues and is compounded by the existence of numerous sawmills and furniture factories in the area using illegally logged timber. Local authorities have uncovered many violations, including the purchase and processing of 500 cubic meters of illegal timber, and an illegal transportation of timber case aided by the “irresponsibility” of a regional Ranger Station officer.
(Vietnamese version)

National awards for the best environmental films
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in cooperation with the Vietnam Movies Association held the 4th National Film Festival for the Environment Award Ceremony on December 29.

Mr. Nguyen Dai Dong - Deputy Director General of the Environment Department, said that the entries for the contest were very rich in content and diverse in category, and highlighted many urgent issues such as the illegal hunting of wild animals, deforestation, and indiscriminate littering. Entries are on the increase, with this year’s festival receiving the most entries in the four years that the competition has been running.  

Directed by Le Hoai Phuong, Green Forest Crime won the most prestigious award: Green Vietnam. Phuong’s movie examined how the illegal hunting of wildlife causes imbalance in a forest’s ecosystem.

(Vietnamese version)
Trao giai phim xuat sac ve moi truong


Nguyen Bich Ngoc
Communications officer
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
E-mail: (English) (Vietnamese) (English wildlife trade website)




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