The campaign brought together over 100 officers from across the province in a coordinated effort against illegal wildlife networks operating in the city. Enforcement teams swept through restaurants suspected of illegally trading wildlife, searching for wildlife violations and seizing and arresting suspects along the way in the biggest coordinated campaign the province has ever seen.
The campaign was developed with the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), National Environmental Police, Dr Mai The Bay and with the support from the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The campaign follows recent surveys in Da Lat city that found 44 restaurants and 33 TCM shops (representing 68% restaurants and 21% TCM shop visited) serving wildlife, at potentially very high quantities.
Following the campaign, Lam Dong agencies seized over 300kg of wildlife including meat from wild pigs, civets, pangolins, porcupine, mouse deer, monitor lizard, bear paws, bamboo rats, snakes, sambar and skins from black-shanked duoc langurs, clouded leopard, short-clawed otter, serow, muntjac, leopard cat, flying squirrel, common palm civet, binturong, and small indian civet.
This is the largest seizure ever made in a campaign in Lam Dong and investigations into the source of this wildlife and the trade networks supplying it are underway.
Mr Tran Thanh Binh, Head of Lam Dong FPD said: “The detection and prosecution of restaurants illegally serving wildlife is a critical step in the battle for wildlife conservation in Vietnam”. He added “The campaign today is our warning shot to illegal wildlife traders that Lam Dong province will not condone wildlife violators anymore.”
Dr Scott Roberton, WCS Country Representative for Vietnam said “WCS commends the strong and decisive actions of Lam Dong province on tackling wildlife trade in Da Lat City and hopes these seizures will be followed up with investigations to identify and prosecute the illegal traders behind the restaurants. The future of wildlife in Vietnam hangs in the balance, but with more agencies showing a strong commitment like Lam Dong FPD, things could change for the better very quickly”
For more information including more photos of the seizure please contact:
Tran Xuan Viet, WCS Program officer
0934 472999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Tran Thanh Binh, Head, Lam Dong FPD
0913 736 822
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