Rhino horns (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Sixteen Vietnamese and foreign conservation organisations have called for more administrative punishments for wildlife crime, given their concern about biodiversity loss as a result of unchecked poaching.

Director of the Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) Nguyen Van Thai said on November 27 that the SVW and 15 other conservation organisations operating in Vietnam have proposed some regulations be issued to protect wild animals in the country. The organisations are concerned about the biodiversity loss mainly caused by illegal trapping, catching, and hunting in Vietnamese forests.

He said surveillance and surveys in national parks and protected areas over the last five years show that the population of wild animals has declined considerably. Many animals like tigers, sao la, clouded leopards, binturong, and Chinese pangolins haven’t been recorded in the surveys, and they have possibly become extinct.

Patrols also show that illegal traps are still rampant in almost all national parks and protected areas. The exploitation of non-wood forestry products has also partially worsened the situation.

Thai said more administrative penalties for illegally setting up tents in special-use forests should be added to the draft decree revising the Government’s Decree No.157/2013/ND-CP on wildlife protection as this activity is almost always accompanied by logging and wildlife hunting.

Decree No.157/2013/ND-CP has already stipulated fines for the carrying of hunting tools, but wild animals are still disappearing, he said, noting that if trapping and poaching are not eradicated, Vietnam will face the extinction of an array of endangered and rare animals in the near future. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement fines for the carrying and use of hunting tools into forests with banned hunting.

He added that the organisations also urged stricter punishments for the use of dogs in hunting since dogs can infect natural species with many diseases. –VNA