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Comedic PSA warns public of the legal risks of consuming, cooking and serving wildlife at restaurants   

Hanoi, December 23, 2022 – Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) has released their 53rd Public Service Announcement (PSA) to date, ‘Ditzy Man’ as a friendly reminder to every citizen in Vietnam that wildlife is protected by law and violations might face serious consequences.  

This comedic PSA follows a young man who is illegally fishing by the lake and seeks refuge in a restaurant upon hearing police sirens nearby. What he doesn’t realize is that his ‘refuge’ is a restaurant that specializes in wildlife dishes, and is the very place the police are on their way to raid.

He hides under the table, before confessing his fishing crimes to the police officer while the other perpetrators are loaded into the police car for violating wildlife protection laws. Police send him on his way with a warning, “Advertising and buying wildlife is illegal. Follow the rules and keep yourself safe”.   

Consuming wildlife as specialty foods, keeping wild animals as pets, and using wildlife as traditional medicine are still widespread problems across the country. As part of broader efforts to protect Vietnam’s bioldiveristy, it is illegal to consume, buy, keep, or possess animals that are not of legal origin.

“While dismantling major criminal networks should be our absolute top priority, we also need to work much harder to address continued demand for wildlife and eliminate wildlife crime at all levels, especially amongsrt consumers and at retail establishments,” says Ms. Bui Thi Ha, Director of Policy and Legislation at ENV. “Public participation in this effort is key, and indeed it is not just the responsibility of authorities to address wildlife crime, but also a responsibility shared with the public.”

This PSA is part of a wider ENV campaign to encourage ordinary citizens to comply with wildlife protection laws. “Whether it’s health, financial or legal risks, people need to realize that buying, selling, keeping or consuming wildlife has negative consequences for us all,” adds Ms. Ha.

ENV extends our thanks to the U.S. Department of State for supporting the production of this PSA, enabling our efforts to tackle demand for wildlife in restaurants, as well as other wildlife crimes.