Help protect pangolins – report pangolin crimes!

Hanoi, January 13, 2015, VTV news host and celebrity Ms. Hoai Anh has called on the public to help stop the illegal trade of endangered pangolins in a new public service announcement (PSA) released today by Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV).  Reporting on the crisis facing pangolins, Hoai Anh urges viewers to take action against wildlife traders by reporting pangolin crimes to ENV’s national toll free Wildlife Crime Hotline (1-800-1522).

 

Pangolin PSA - TV news anchor Hoai Anh

 

Vietnam is home to two species of pangolins, the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and the Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica). In Vietnam, pangolins are consumed in restaurants as well as being valued for their scales in traditional medicine. While the demand for pangolin meat and scales is a growing problem in Vietnam, the majority of pangolins in the trade are destined for China. 

 

Both species of pangolins are fully protected under Vietnamese law and banned from any form of commercial trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement to which Vietnam is a signatory, also prohibits any cross-border international trade of pangolins or their scales.

 

Between 2012 and the end of 2014, ENV documented more than 34.3 tons of frozen pangolins and pangolin scales seized by authorities in Hai Phong alone. Hai Phong is a major seaport in Vietnam where pangolins are often smuggled into the country before being transported by road to the border at Mong Cai and into China. Pangolins are both hunted in Vietnam’s forests as well as smuggled live across the border into Vietnam from Cambodia and Laos. Most of these live pangolins are also destined for Chinese markets, though some find their way to restaurants in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and other major cities.

 

In ENV’s latest PSA, Hoai Anh highlights the links between wildlife trafficking and organized crime and warns pangolin consumers: “If you buy pangolin scales or eat pangolin meat in restaurants, you are directly supporting these criminal networks.”

 

Since 2005, ENV has been working closely with law enforcement agencies around the country to address wildlife crime. ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit has documented a total of 683 pangolin cases, many of which were reported by members of the public through the ENV Wildlife Crime Hotline.

 

“The public plays a crucial role in combating wildlife crime”, explains Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, Vice Director of ENV. “We believe that if the public is actively involved in this fight to protect pangolins and other endangered wildlife, those responsible for the illegal trade will be brought to justice.”

 

The PSA will be broadcast on between 40 to 60 national and provincial TV channels in the coming months.

 

ENV gratefully acknowledges the readers of CNN for their valuable support in producing this PSA, as well as national and provincial TV channels, VTV Cab, An Vien TV (AVG), and VTC Digital for airing the PSA; enabling this important message to reach millions of people across  Vietnam.


The PSA can be watched online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEGl31bFYXI

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