No updates since Vietnam announced to plan for wildlife trade ban in March 2020

Conservationists demand for an update.

Sumita Thiagarajan| June 10, 2020, 11:37 AM

In February 2020, conservation groups banded together to ask the Prime Minister of Vietnam to ban the trade and consumption of wildlife, amidst the current pandemic.

In May, conservation groups came together to ask for an update on the ban, reported Mongabay.

Conservationists fear that government has lost focus on wildlife trade ban

In March 2020, when the issue with Covid-19 was more pressing in Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to draw up a wildlife trade ban by April 1, 2020.

This was in response to an open letter by 14 organisations, which asked for a wildlife trade ban to prevent future disease outbreaks, related to the trade and consumption of wildlife.

The Covid-19 situation in Vietnam has since improved and stabilised. The country has reported 332 positive cases and zero death cases since the start of the outbreak as of June 9.

While this is great news for public health, conservationists fear that this means that the government might not be focused on implementing a wildlife trade ban.

Conservationists continue to push for a ban

According to Mongabay, the consumption of wildlife is more common in rural areas and amongst the political and business elites in Vietnam.

Despite the lack of updates from the nation's agriculture ministry since March, conservation groups are still demanding a wildlife trade ban, reported Mongabay.

So far, the only other city in Asia to officially ban the trade and consumption of wildlife due to the pandemic is Wuhan, China.

The city, which is believed to be the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, has officially banned the wildlife trade and even offered to buyout wildlife farms so that "wildlife farmers" can switch to alternative livelihoods.

Top image via Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals