Endangered animals are being exploited by humans to make illegal products, traditional medicines, and to be kept as pets, in order to elevate their social status, pursue health myths, or for entertainment. By offering a toll-free hotline for the public to report crimes, facilitating animal rescues, assisting law enforcement in catching criminals, and encouraging the prosecution of wildlife traffickers, Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) strives to protect endangered wildlife from exploitation.
Between 2021 and 2022, over 955 kg of pangolin scales, 148 kg of rhino horn, and 29 live tigers were seized, indicating that Vietnam is still a key player in international wildlife trafficking networks and a major back door into China. While tigers and bears are still being exploited for traditional medicine, the exotic pet trade is expanding, and Vietnam is seeing an influx of more and more exotic wildlife being captured, smuggled, advertised, and sold into the pet industry.
ENV protects endangered wildlife by educating the public via awareness campaigns and crime deterrence ads that reach people in their homes, and ENV's Wildlife Crime Unit receives around 8 public reports of wildlife crime per day. Case Officers coordinate an official response by authorities, leading to the confiscation of live animals and wildlife goods and the arrest and prosecution of violators. In 2022, ENV handled over 3,405 cases, leading to 3,223 live animals rescued from the illegal trade.
ENV has tackled over 74,000 wildlife crime violations, contributed to a 95% decrease in bears on bile farms, and by mobilizing authorities, confiscated tons of wildlife products and rescued thousands of wild animals from the illegal trade. ENV investigations have also led to the arrest and imprisonment of 4 trafficking network leaders. ENV's work on demand reduction and enforcement has and continues to drive the change needed to secure a better future for wildlife, both in Vietnam and globally.