Animal welfare in Vietnam

Protection for the animals - education for the people

pangolin: the most trafficked mammal in the world

Covid-19 crisis: Animal welfare work in times of a pandemic

Some activities and focal points of our animal welfare work worldwide – whether sanctuaries, trainings or mobile clinics – had to be paused or adapted in response to the pandemic:

Still, it is our highest priority to safe animal lives, but we cannot risk the health of our partners in doing so. To enable us to carry on our basic animal welfare work despite the current crisis, we have developed the WTG Emergency Fund. Read more about the fund here https://welttierschutz.org/en/wtg-emergency-fund/

We promise to do everything in our power to continue offering the best protection for all animals – the stray cats and dogs, livestock such as donkeys, cattle, sheep and goats as well as wildlife like pangolins and sloths, elephants and bears. Please support our work https://welttierschutz.org/secure/spenden/emergency-fund/

 

Vietnam, along with China, is considered a hotspot for illegal wildlife trade. However, every year, state wildlife officers working to enforce the law confiscate thousands of animals - including pangolins, palm civets and other viverrids. Together with our partners from Save Vietnam's Wildlife (SVW), we work towards better first aid, good recovery and the quickest possible reintroduction of these animals. Through educational work, we also create the basis for strengthening people's awareness of animal welfare and thus the protection of the animals.

Vietnam

Despite nature conservation laws, Vietnam's biodiversity has suffered greatly in recent decades. For wildlife, the illegal wildlife trade in particular poses a major threat. The highly endangered pangolins, for example - the world's most illegally traded mammals - are hunted mercilessly for their scales and meat. Similarly, for other wild animals such as civets, which are poached for the production of the "civet coffee" Kopi Luwak, a safe life in freedom is also rare.

Enabling rapid help in an emergency

State rangers repeatedly succeed in confiscating wild animals from the clutches of poachers. However, in the past, they unfortunately lacked basic knowledge about the needs of wild animals and so many animals died shortly after confiscation. Those animals that survived were usually reintroduced into the wild without a veterinary examination and sometimes in unsuitable places. The animals may not yet have been able to survive in the wild and could spread diseases that endangered the rest of the wild animal population. Since the first hours after confiscation are particularly critical for the sensitive wild animals and can decide between life and death, this is where we start our work.

First aid through the Rapid Response Team

At the sanctuary of our partner organisation in Cuc Phuong National Park, a Rapid Response Team consisting of veterinarians, animal keepers and representatives of the national park has been available as a contact for the rangers since 2017. Whenever possible, the Rapid Response Team goes to the place of confiscation to help with the initial care of the confiscated animals - until the authorities regulate their further whereabouts and animal welfare-friendly accommodation is found.

The team is equipped with transport boxes, medical equipment and animal food for the mobile mission. Furthermore, during the missions, training sessions are held for the gamekeepers, in which basic knowledge about species identification, care and reintroduction of wild animals is imparted. In the long term, this ensures that they have the necessary knowledge to care for the animals independently and according to their needs, thus increasing their chances of survival.

injured animals taken from the wildlife trade are brought to the rescue centre
© Save Vietnam's Wildlife

Founding the Vietnam Wildlife Rescue Association

Our long-term goal is to create the basis for a smooth and animal-friendly rescue, supply and release process for confiscated wild animals. This is where we start with the establishment of the Vietnam Wildlife Rescue Association (VWRA) in order to bring together all state protection centers in the country.

In a first step, meetings and workshops with relevant government representatives are to take place in order to prepare for the establishment of the association. In addition, the status quo of all existing protection centers with regard to capacities and competencies will be recorded and deficits determined. Based on the overview of all rescue centers, the necessary personnel, material and spatial capacities as well as knowledge regarding the appropriate care of wild animals can then be expanded.

In addition, guidelines are being created that offer optimal guidance in the rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction of wild animals. In future, every confiscated animal in Vietnam should be able to be cared for quickly and professionally and housed in an animal-friendly manner.

Highest standards in animal welfare

Some of the animals are also transferred to the care of our partner. Both in Cuc Phuong National Park and in another sanctuary in Pu Mat National Park, the teams then care for the confiscated wild animals, rehabilitate them and prepare them for reintroduction.

Chronically ill and injured animals find a permanent home here. They are given enclosures, feeding routines and activities to occupy themselves with which are as well adapted as possible to their needs.

In the course of our cooperation since 2014, the sanctuary in Cuc Phuong National Park has been expanded and optimised: A small veterinary clinic established in 2018 with an attached laboratory is equipped with the necessary veterinary supplies to ensure the best possible care for all animals housed at the sanctuary on a temporary or long-term basis. To ensure this, more veterinary staff have been hired.

The second centre is located about 250 km southwest in Pu Mat National Park, on the border with Laos. Here, the local market in particular plays a central role with regard to the illegal wildlife trade. The quarantine and long-term enclosures in the three-hectare sanctuary are usually full and further capacity is urgently needed. We are currently helping with the expansion: first, however, we repaired the existing and partly outdated enclosures. Furthermore, a treatment room was set up to ensure the veterinary care of the rescued wild animals. Veterinarians from the sanctuary in Cuc Phuong National Park are currently still taking care of the animals that need veterinary treatment. With our support, further quarantine enclosures are being built on around 150 hectares, which the national park recently made available to our project partner.

With these measures, we are helping to ensure that essential standards in animal welfare can be successfully implemented in Vietnam.

injured animals taken from the wildlife trade are brought to the rescue centre
OP- und Behandlungsraum © Save Vietnams Wildlife

More animal welfare awareness = more animal protection

In addition to the legal framework and compliance with it, the fundamental prerequisite for the sustainable protection of wildlife is the behaviour of the population, which should perceive wildlife as worthy of protection. In order to strengthen animal welfare awareness, sustainable educational measures have been launched in both national parks with our support.

At the conservation centre in Cuc Phuong National Park, we support a public information centre that is unique in Vietnam. Visitors, including school classes, students and tourists, are informed about the needs of Vietnamese wild animals. They also learn about the torment that poached animals have to endure and that the endangered animals are worth protecting - and must not be hunted for traditional medicine or as a supposed delicacy.

Children in particular are sensitive, eager to learn and crucial for the future when it comes to the protection of (wild) animals. Therefore, two educational programmes for children aged four to 14 years were developed together with the local education authority: "Valuing Nature in Childhood" and "Protecting Wildlife We Love". The different lesson plans and materials adapted to the respective age groups and a one-day excursion to the conservation centre, during which the children can observe selected stress-resistant animals, have since become a fixed activity in the daily routine of many preschools and schools in the region.

While our partners initially had to actively approach the schools and preschools to convince them to participate in the educational programme, more and more educational institutions are now approaching our partners. A great, trendsetting success!

 

Wildlife in Vietnam
© Save Vietnam's Wildlife

The educational measures in and around Pu Mat National Park have been adapted to the local conditions: In this region, which is inaccessible to tourists, we exclusively address the local population living in the immediate vicinity of the national park. Hot spots were selected where there is (still) a high level of biodiversity worth protecting.

At a total of 23 schools, 16 of which are primary schools and 7 secondary schools, our partners are now conducting training sessions with teachers and teaching the students about local wildlife species, their needs and ways to protect them. With several hundred students, recreational groups, so-called children's clubs, are also offered under the motto "Join me to protect Pu Mat wildlife". Every year, the clubs organise events together with our partner to inform about the problems caused by poaching, wildlife trade and consumption.

Our aim is for the children and young people to carry the idea of animal protection they have been taught into their families and thus make an important contribution to ensuring that wild animals no longer will be poached or consumed as delicacies and for medical purposes.

This project is financed exclusively by donations from committed animal lovers. Please help us to sustainably strengthen the protection of wild animals in Vietnam.

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We aim at improving the situation for animals in long term i. e. by providing veterinary care, by supporting animal sanctuaries and through our educational work. Every single donation helps!

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For more information, please contact:

Daniela Schrudde
Programme Director

Tel.: +49(0)30 – 9237226-0
E-Mail: ds@welttierschutz.org

Welttierschutzgesellschaft e.V.
Reinhardtstr. 10
10117 Berlin
Germany