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Vietnam’s PM bans wildlife trade to reduce risk of pandemics

Vietnam’s PM bans wildlife trade to reduce risk of pandemics

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued a directive to ban Vietnam’s wildlife trade with immediate effect in order to reduce the risk of new pandemics. The directive bans imports of live wild animals and wildlife products, eliminates wildlife markets, the government said in a statement late on Thursday.

Prohibitions on illegal hunting and trading of wild animals, including online sales, have also been enforced.

The Southeast Asian country is an important destination for illegal wildlife products such as pangolin scales and elephant ivory.

“The wildlife consumption ban mentioned in the directive is insufficient as some uses of wildlife such as medicinal use or wild animals being kept as pets are not covered,” Reuters quoted Nguyen Van Thai, director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, as saying.