Don’t do it, wildlife crime is not worth the risk!

Hanoi (December 11, 2019) – The very real human cost of illegal wildlife trafficking resulting from heavier
prison sentences is brought powerfully home in Education for Nature – Vietnam’s newly released Public
Service Announcement,
Don’t do it!

Set in a prison visiting room, a tear-jerking drama unfolds that starkly demonstrates the consequences of stiffer prison sentences – up to 15 years – being imposed. With the main breadwinner behind bars, it is not only those imprisoned that are punished as a result of illegal wildlife trafficking. The video’s simple deterrent message is “Don’t do it”; the consequences are far-reaching, and you can’t buy back the time you lose in prison.

“This is a wake-up call to people who buy, sell, or traffick endangered wildlife,” says Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, ENV’s Vice Director. “The law is clear and the courts across the country are handing down stiff penalties to violators.

Dung went on to say, “The risks are real. Anyone involved in wildlife crime faces the very real possibility of arrest resulting in prison time, away from family and friends. The time that is lost that cannot be recovered. Think twice before becoming involved in trafficking wildlife!”

The far tougher sentences now being meted out to wildlife criminals are thanks to the revised Penal Code. Prison sentences are becoming the new norm for court trials for serious wildlife crime; since the revised 2018 Penal Code came into effect 43 offenders have been imprisoned for five or more years. This total is more than half of the 68 wildlife criminals sentenced in 2018-2019.

“Wildlife criminals should be aware that the Penal Code is showing its teeth and imposing stiff prison sentences,” says Ms. Ha Bui, ENV’s Head of Legal Services and Policy. “ENV will always push to ensure that the Vietnamese legal system pursues and prosecutes wildlife crime offenders to the fullest extent of the law.


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