Vietnam joins hands to prevent pangolin trade

Vietnam wants to co-operate with international organisations and countries worldwide to preserve endangered wildlife, including pangolins which are on the brink of extinction due to illegal hunting and trade for meat and scales.

A pangolin individual under care by wildlife conversation experts.
A pangolin individual under care by wildlife conversation experts.

Deputy Minister of the Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan made the statement at the first conference of pangolin range States held in the central coastal city of Da Nang on June 24.

Some 100 delegates, including experts from the US and 30 countries in Africa and Asia, attended the two-day event to evaluate the illegal trade of pangolins worldwide, seek ways to control the situation and build specific action plans to ensure pangolin development.

According to the experts, there are eight species of pangolin: four Asian species (Chinese pangolin, Malayan pangolin, Indian pangolin and Philippine pangolin) and four African species (tree pangolin, giant ground pangolin, long-tailed pangolin and Temminck’s ground pangolin).

Over the past ten years, one million pangolins have been hunted and trafficked illegally across borders. The large-scale illegal trade includes frozen or live pangolins, and pangolin scales.

Pangolins are hunted for food and are used in traditional Asian medicine to treat psoriasis and improve blood circulation, said Do Quang Tung, Director of the Vietnam Management Authority of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

He underscored that communication activities on reducing pangolin use will serve as a crucial measure to protect this animal from extinction.

Teresa Telecky, Director of Wildlife for Humane Society International, spoke highly of the involvement of countries with pangolin to seek solutions to prevent the illegal trafficking of pangolins, saying the move is an essential component in saving the scaly anteaters.

Meanwhile, Claire Pierangelo, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Vietnam said that the US is among the leading countries in the international collaboration to protect wildlife animals and plants.

She highlighted that the conference will benefit international communities in an effort to deal with cross-border issues.