Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015

Vietnam urged to redouble rhino trade fight

Published on Mar 13, 2013 6:27 AM
Rhinos are seen at the Mafikeng Game Reserve in the North West province, in this November 11, 2010 file photo. In a last-ditch attempt to save rhinos from extinction, four leading environmental scientists urge legalizing the trade in the endangered animals' horns, since a worldwide ban on this trade hasn't worked. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (AFP) - Vietnam was on Tuesday urged to do more to fight the illegal trade in rhino horn, which is highly prized in the Southeast Asian nation for its supposed medicinal qualities.

The 178-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), meeting for a major wildlife conference in Bangkok, appealed for greater global efforts to prosecute traffickers and curb rising demand in Asia.

They called on Vietnam in particular to redouble its efforts, along with Mozambique which was urged to prioritise legislation to prevent rhino poaching and illegal trade - a move welcomed by campaigners.

"It's encouraging to see attention focused where it is needed most and Cites nations collectively and loudly calling for tightening of trade controls and stricter penalties for illegal activities - but more must be done to save rhinos before it's too late," said Mark Jones of Humane Society International.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!