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Conservation news mongabay.com 25 Nov, 2021 20:15 am

Wildlife trade hub Vietnam is also hub of impunity for traffickers, report says

Wildlife trade hub Vietnam is also hub of impunity for traffickers, report says
Environmental science and conservation news

Half of the shipments originated from African countries, underscoring Vietnam’s status as an import hub for illegal wildlife products from the continent, it added.The illegal wildlife trade is a key contributor to global biodiversity decline, reducing wild populations while fueling local extinctions.“Vietnam has made many seizures, but seizures alone are no deterrent to wildlife trafficking networks for whom seizures are minor business losses, easily recouped with the next shipment,” the researchers wrote, adding that seizures are only the “tip of the iceberg” since most illegal wildlife products enter and leave the country undetected.Vietnam has stepped up efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade in recent years.

After lockdown measures were lifted in South Africa, the number of rhinos lost to poaching surged by 50% in the first six months of this year compared with 2020.Vietnamese wildlife crime networks have been operating in Africa for nearly two decades, with Nigeria, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) being major hotspots.

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