The following summary of tiger seizures for the period January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013 was compiled by Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), in order to ensure that accurate data for Vietnam is made available for use in addressing tiger trade enforcement issues regionally.
Frozen tiger confiscated in Thanh Hoa on October 15 2012 (Photo by Hanoi EP)
Information source and accuracy
ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit was established in 2005 to facilitate public reporting of wildlife crimes in Vietnam. Each case is logged on ENV’s Wildlife Crime Incident Database and tracked through to conclusion. Case outcomes are documented and sources are informed of the results. Since the crime unit was established in 2005, over 6,700 cases have been reported and logged.
In addition to crimes reported by members of the public, ENV’s database incorporates cases sourced from law enforcement agencies and intelligence from a growing network of informants, as well as documents major smuggling and trade cases, including tiger seizures.
All of the information contained on the database relating to tiger seizures is based on accounts from law enforcement agencies and related investigations; news sources are only utilized as a means of notification about a specific case, as ENV recognizes through experience that information in the media is often inaccurate.
Tiger seizure summary
ENV has documented a total of 280 violations involving tigers and tiger products since 2006. These include 120 incidents of advertising and selling tiger bone TCM, teeth, claws, and products, 55 possession cases including both live tigers and trophy tigers, and 107 violations involving smuggling and trade of tigers, which includes keeping, transporting, and processing tigers and their parts.
A total of 28 cases involved seizures of tiger carcasses with a total of 38 tigers seized, most frozen. Twelve additional cases involved seizures of 21 skeletons (partial or whole). 4 cases involved seizures of a total of 9 live tigers. Additionally, 16 tiger skins and 3 tiger trophies were recovered during enforcement operations.
The incident data for seizure of tiger carcasses, parts, skeletons, bones, and trophies is included in Appendix 1.
Limitations on the data provided
The following cases were not included in the seizure data:
- Cases involving registered tiger farms, or past cases which involved tigers being kept at private establishments which were transferred to registered farms and subsequently registered.
- Intelligence cases from informants and other reports of tigers and tiger trade operations that did not result in a successful enforcement outcome.
- The data does not reflect all tiger seizures during this period if we assume that some seizures were not reported to ENV by enforcement agencies, nor made public in any way. This assumption is based upon the fact that some seizures were reported to ENV by law enforcement agencies in order to ensure transparency by concerned police and Forest Protection Department officers who feared that the confiscated goods would “disappear” following the seizure.
*** To download the summary report of tiger seizures in PDF format, please click to the following link
Wildlife Crime and Investigations Unit
Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV)
Investigations program advisor
Douglas Hendrie firstname.lastname@example.org