On the Internet, the man named Manh advertised: “I want to sell an Asian rhino horn at VND 40 million. My family works in traditional medicine sector, so I want to share it with those who care for his and his family’s health. For more information, please contact 0906106xxx.... all transactions are at my home. Don’t worry, it is not illegal to use rhino horn in traditional medicine!” Immediately, there are hundreds of comments showing the reader’s concern for it. When the writer called this number, some one at the other end said cautiously: “if you want to buy, go to my home to buy and check the quality, I don’t want to work through telephone call”. So, only by calling, the buyer can approach the goods in a secure and secret way. Besides rhinos, tigers, elephants’ ivory, bile, reptiles are traded also. Many people take advantage of some forums for pets to purchase wild animals as pets like turtles, birds, and reptiles.
Nguyen Duy Hung- an officer of a company in Cau Giay district said: “Purchasing on the Internet has become so popular; some special products can be traded secretly without any middle man.” Nobody knows whether such transactions are successful or not or the products are really good or not but we all aware that it is quite easy to buy endangered wild animals like rhinos on the Internet.
According to a recent research from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) , within 2 months, the number of wild animals sold on the unofficial websites taking up for 43%, 33% in companies’ websites and the rest (21%) is in forums. The total number of animals advertised on the Internet is 108 species. According to this research, 84% buyers use these animals as pets, 9% others use it as food. For products made from wild animals, 61% consumers use them as medicine.
Whether the rhino horns can cure disease or not is still a big question. However, in fact, profit from trading rhino horn is more sunstantial than any other wild animals’ products.
WCS revealed 1 kilogram of rhino horn can be traded at US $ 60.000, equivalent to over 1 VND billion. It is even more expensive than 1 kilogram of cocaine sold in the US. WCS director- Mr Scott Roberton showed his worry: “While in other countries in the world, the market for wild animals on the Internet is controlled seriously, in Vietnam, it is ignored for a long time”
Difficulty to control on the Internet
Agency of biological diversity announced that the number of individuals trading wild animals on the Internet increase 70%, most of whom are in Hanoi or Hochiminh City. The management of these transactions is out of responsilble agencies’ control. Vietnam built legal corridor for this illegal trading but the penalty is still too light. Vietnam e- commerce and information technology agency admitted that it is difficult challenge for them to manage some kind of business such as buying in group, multi- level marketing and online marketing because of their unexpected booming development.
“Using websites to advertise and sell wild animals changes the traditional way of trading and creates opportunities for illegal trading, which makes responsible agencies unable to control the situation.” Mr Do Quang Tung - director of CITES VN said. “It is time for legal agencies, ministries and departments to cooperate, manage and impose harsh pelnaty on these activities.” To materialize this target, the first step is to administrate the registration and content of websites and forum for trading goods, especially wild animals and products from them and then, the punishment should be changed to fit this crime.