Vietnam bans rhino specimen imports
Updated : 01/29/2013 12:32 GMT + 7
Specimens of rhino and several other wild animals are now banned from being traded, exported or imported, according to a new directive signed by the government.
Specifically, specimens of white and black rhinos and elephants, as well as products made from their horns are banned. Any other animals included in the list of the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) are also not to be traded.
The CITES Management Authority Management regulates the international trade of endangered wildlife.
The specimens described above can only be imported under three circumstances.
First, the specimens serve diplomatic or scientific research purposes; are to be used for biodiversity conservation, to be displayed at a zoo, or exchanged amongst CITES authorities and its national members.
Second, the specimens are non-commercial products that meet the import requirements set by CITES Vietnam and the CITES authority from the exporting country.
Finally, specimens that acquired CITES permission for import prior to the release of this directive reserve the rights to be brought to the country.
Rhino hunters and horn collectors attracted media headlines late last year, with a famous banker refusing to report a theft in which his VND4 billion (US$191,000) horn was stolen. Meanwhile hunting the wild animal has seemingly become a trend among local rich men.
Vietnamese hunters obtained 114 of the 222 hunting permits granted by South African authorities in 2011, according to the country’s Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs.
Last November, Hanoi customs officers found and seized seven rhino horns hidden in the luggage of two passengers who arrived from Qatar.
Meanwhile, January 6 saw two Vietnamese men detained in two separated rhino horn trafficking cases in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. The man in the city was captured with a horn weighing 16.5kg, and the one in Bangkok with a 10.6kg horn.