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Hanoi, July 29, 2020 – Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) has just released their latest Public Service Announcement (PSA) in celebration of International Tiger Day on July 29th. The PSA, titled Superstitious, brings the audience face-to-face with superstitions still common in Vietnam, some harmless, and others destroying Earth’s wildlife.
Superstitious engages the audience through jovial characters and a lighthearted mood as a Vietnamese family goes about their day. As the first day of the lunar month, it’s a very superstitious time, and the viewer is taken on a comical journey from one superstition to the next.
“This PSA aims to appeal to a wider audience by using humor to capture people’s attention,” says Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, ENV’s Vice Director. “The continued use of tiger bone glue in Vietnam is a serious concern, however, we can captivate more minds by presenting the problem from a different perspective that is easier for the public to relate to.”
For many viewers in Vietnam, it’s relatable to watch family members behave superstitiously, just as the son in the PSA watches and judges his family’s irrational habits. The turning point culminates when the son, who thought of himself as the most logical of the family, brings home tiger bone medicine “for health”. To the son’s surprise, the family is quick to condemn his outdated belief that tiger bone glue could improve health, concluding the PSA with a message to the audience that tiger bone glue has no proven medicinal value whatsoever.
In the last 18 months, ENV documented 652 tiger violations through their Wildlife Crime Unit. Violations include advertising, selling, possessing, and trafficking tiger bone glue, as well as tiger claws, teeth, organs, and skin. There were also a number of cases involving the trafficking of live and dead tigers. Demand for tiger bone glue is driving the continued slaughter of tigers, for no other reason than a falsely-held belief.
“As long as this archaic belief still exists, tigers will continue to be slaughtered every day,” says Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung. “To save the last few tigers in the wild, each member of the public needs to take action and speak out against friends and family who condone or continue to use tiger products for unfounded beliefs.”
This PSA is part of ENV’s long-term efforts to reduce consumer demand for products made from tigers and combat the illegal tiger trade. The new PSA will be aired on national and provincial television channels in Vietnam, and displayed on Vietnam’s national railway, reaching millions of people travelling through rural and urban areas. It will also be broadcast virally through ENV’s social media channels.
ENV would like to thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and FOUR PAWS International for their contributions to produce this PSA. ENV also thanks the local and national TV stations and RailTV for broadcasting this important message to the people of Vietnam.