Friday, August 14, 2015

Ivory And Rhino Horns Shipment Seized in Vietnam

Rhino Horns And Ivory Shipment Which Were Supposed To Have Originated From Mozambique Were Seized By Vietnamese Custom Officers.

[Image 1: Law enforcement officials examining the ivory and rhino horns that were seized by the customs officers at the Vietnamese Port of Da Nang.]
[ Image Courtesy : ]

Customs officers in Vietnam confiscated nearly one metric ton of rhino horns and ivory, which were supposed to have originated from Mozambique.

Vietnamese state media reported on Friday, that custom officers at the Tien Sa Port in Vietnam have seized over 593 kilograms of elephant tusks  and 142 kilograms of rhino horn chunks, hidden in fake marble, as reported by Yahoo News.
The shipment of rhino horns and ivory were supposed to have originated from Mozambique, and that the haul was discovered at the central port of Da Nang yesterday, said the Vietnamese Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The rhino horn trade was banned globally by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1977. However, the trade has flourished thanks to demand from Vietnam and China, who have been long been accused of being one of the world's worst countries for trade in endangered species, reported The ABC News.

Vietnamese people believe that the rhino horn can cure just about anything including cancer. Local superstitions also credit it with having aphrodisiacal and medicinal properties.

In Aug. 2014, France destroyed its stockpile of over 15,000 pieces of seized ivory products. While, China destroyed six tons of ivory and the United States burned down its ivory stockpile for the first time in Nov. 2014.

After intense pressure from conservation groups, Hong Kong, in May 2014, had destroyed about 30 tons of ivory seized from smugglers. This marked an important step in combating the illegal trade in elephant tusks, reported The Guardian.

Vietnam could be the latest country to destroy its stockpiles of illegal wildlife products.

Susan Lieberman, Executive Director of conservation policy, Wildlife Conservation Society applauded the move, especially because of Vietnam’s reputation as a global player in illegal wildlife trade and trafficking.

However, does destroying ivory save elephants? Karl Mathiesen from The Guardian investigates