Emergency Appeal:
Help stop the illegal and exotic pet trade

The trade of wildlife species to be kept as pets is a growing trend in Vietnam.

Every day, ENV handles an increasing number of reports involving macaques, otters, leopard cats, lorises, turtles, and a variety of other species illegally traded and kept in order to satisfy the human urge to own a pet.

A major exacerbating factor in the rise of the wildlife pet trade is the internet. ENV recorded 1,832 cybercrime cases in 2023, 202 of which involved exotic species likely destined for the pet trade.

Because of the rise of social media, people now have more access to and a stronger desire to keep wild animals as pets. ‘Cute’ videos of wildlife kept as pets on social media influence others to follow suit. Sales of wild animals now increasingly take place on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and online platforms and websites. In a completely uncontrolled market, a broad array of wildlife species is available for purchase with the press of a button.

This phenomenon is threatening the survival of many species, with large-scale poaching from the wild wreaking havoc on natural populations and further aggravating current risks to Vietnam’s biodiversity, such as habitat loss and the illegal hunting and trade of wildlife.

Some of the species traded are exotic, posing huge threats to Vietnam’s biodiversity if released into nature, where they compete with native species, and in many cases, result in harmful and negative long-term effects on the ecosystem.

In 2023 alone, ENV recorded 3,595 wildlife crime cases, hundreds of which involved wildlife being sold or being kept as pets. A total of 2,514 wild animals including endangered species such as lorises, marine turtles, freshwater turtles and tortoises, otters and gibbons have been rescued from the pet trade in 2023. However, ENV predicts that the illegal pet trade of wildlife will continue to grow in Vietnam over the next few years.

Due to the tightening of law enforcement regulations in Vietnam in recent years, many wildlife pet traders have moved to online platforms where it’s more difficult for law enforcement authorities to detect crimes. However, ENV has been partnering with major social media companies such as Google, Meta (Facebook), Tik Tok and Zalo to combat wildlife crime on social media which largely involves pet trades and possession of wildlife as pets. Hundreds of social media groups selling and advertising wildlife as pets have been permanently shut down by ENV’s partners.

ENV’s flexible response system to address wildlife crime is key. Actions can range from issuing verbal and written warnings to encourage compliance with minor violations, to deactivating social media accounts. Bigger cases lead to law enforcement action.

 In 2023 our coordinated action to tackle the illegal pet trade has led to 2,514 wild animals rescued 













Wild animals are not pets. LET’S KEEP THEM WILD!

The illegal pet trade is endangering species in Vietnam and all around the world, and we urgently need your help to keep them wild! 

Your help will go towards supporting ENV’s mission to eliminate demand, dismantle the trade, and save numerous species from extinction.


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