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Hanoi, February 19, 2014 – Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) has released its latest public service announcement (PSA) aimed at encouraging the public to bring an end to the killing of the world’s tigers by avoiding use of traditional medicine made from tiger bones. The PSA targets the perception by some consumers that tiger bone medicine is valued as both a medicine and a means to show off one’s success and status amongst friends and colleagues.
In this latest PSA, a rising star in a company loses face during his first board meeting by offering tiger bone as a gift to the other board members. Unfortunately for him, his colleagues do not perceive the gift to be as fashionable and impressive as he had hoped, and he finds himself in a very embarrassing situation. The narrator warns, “Tiger bone glue will not impress anyone” and goes on to encourage viewers to help protect tigers by reporting tiger crimes to the authorities or the ENV national Wildlife Crime Hotline.
Many Vietnamese people today, especially men, still believe that tiger bone glue is a magic medicine that can cure bone related ailments, help improve general health and also increase virility. Tiger bone medicine is commonly valued as a gift between businessmen, government officials, and the wealthy, particularly around the Vietnamese New Year.
Global tiger populations have declined dramatically over the past few decades, mainly due to illegal hunting and trade, and the loss of natural habitat. According to experts, as few as 30 tigers may remain in the wild in Vietnam, where increased consumption is widely believed to be linked to growth of the economy and rising levels of disposable income.”
“Some people believe that using tiger bone as a form of medicine is also fashionable and a kind of status symbol”, says Mrs. Dung, Vice-Director of ENV. “However, in order to grow, develop, and become a progressive and enlightened people, we need to move away from exploitive practices, such as killing tigers, based on falsely-held beliefs about the magical medicinal value of their bones, and remove the status attached to these products. Dung goes on to warn that Vietnam’s tigers are likely to be next on the list for extinction in Vietnam following the path of the rhino, lost forever from Vietnam in 2010.
The new PSA was the 18th public service announcement to be produced by ENV, and is part of a long-term campaign to reduce consumer demand for endangered species which are threatened by hunting and trade. The PSA will be aired on both national and provincial TV channels during the coming months.
ENV gratefully acknowledges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their valuable support in producing this PSA and supporting ENV’s efforts to protect tigers.
The PSA with English subtitles can be watched online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcLmhJ6Ihp0
More details about ENV’s campaign to stop the illegal tiger trade can be found here: