HANOI (XINHUA) – Vietnam enhanced efforts against illegal wildlife trade and its impact on biodiversity, through a wide range of measures from raising public awareness to strengthening law enforcement including increased penalties for offenders, local newspaper Vietnam News reported yesterday.
The Vietnamese government made law enforcement an urgent priority by improving the legal and regulatory framework, boosting law enforcement capacity, and facilitating coordination between enforcement agencies, said director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s endangered wildlife conservation project Do Quang Tung.
The country refined its criminal laws on the exploitation and trading of wildlife with clearer and stricter policies. Criminals convicted of breaking laws of protecting endangered species will face up to 15 years in prison and be fined up to USD630,000.
The amended penal code, applying to transporting, storing, selling wildlife products from rhinos, elephants, tigers, pangolins, bears and other endangered animals, sent a strong message to the public that wildlife trafficking is now severely punished, said Tung, which in turn has helped reduce consumer demand for wildlife products such as food, traditional medicine and jewellery.