Monday, 16 February 2015

Rescued pangolins sold to restaurants

Rescued pangolins sold to restaurantsWhen police from the northern province of Vietnam intercepted poachers and rescued 42 pangolins it might be safe to assume that eventually those pangolins would be released back into the wild. However once the pangolins were handed over to forest officials the officials decided to sell them to local restaurants.

Conservationists from Education for Nature-Vietnam have been angered by the decision of the forestry department and accuse the officials of effectively supporting the trade in endangered animals. Even if, as claimed by officials, the pangolins were in such a poor condition they would likely die, selling them to restaurants should not have been contemplated.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, deputy director of Education for Nature-Vietnam, called the decision a failure to deter the wildlife trade and that the pangolins should not have been treated purely as evidence and then traded commercially.

Bac Ninh’s Forest Management Department head, Le Van Minh, said that everything was done within the law. The animals were not in a fit condition to be released back into the wild and the law allows authorities and registered traders to undertake commercial activities with pangolins.

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