Improper upkeep at Binh Duong wild animal farms

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Improper upkeep at Binh Duong wild animal farms

July 28

Three private breeding farms for wild animals in the southern province
of Binh Duong have failed to meet required technical and safety
standards, inspectors have found.

The registration certificates of these farms had also expired,
provincial inspectors said after carrying out checks on Dai Nam Zoo Co.
Ltd., Thai Binh Duong Beer Company and Thanh Canh Enterprise.

The three companies, which run zoos and collect entrance fees from the
public to view the animals, have a total of 53 tigers, making the
province the country’s leading locality in breeding the endangered

Inspectors found Dai Nam Zoo Co. Ltd. raising 13 tigers although they
had registered for seven.

In total, the company was found raising 583 wild animals belonging to 71
species although its [expired] registration permits just 294 animals of
27 species.

Dai Nam had designed the cages properly for the different species and
had veterinarians to take care of them. However, the company did not
record its breeding and raising methods or the measures being taken to
ensure stable reproduction of the animals under captive conditions.

The same violations were also found at the Thai Binh Duong Beer Company
that had registered to raise 721 wild animals of eight species.
Inspectors found the company was raising two unregistered wild animals
but it was not clear which species they belonged to.

Tigers at this farm had given birth to 15 young ones but 11 of them died
due to in-breeding, the inspectors found.

The farm should reinforce its cages to ensure absolute safety for humans
as it is located among residential areas, inspectors said.

They also found that the Thanh Canh Enterprise was raising nine tigers
without informing concerned agencies regularly about their health. They
also found that the bars on cages were not close enough to ensure human

One tigress at Thanh Canh’s farm had given birth to a young that died
soon after, inspectors said, adding none of the companies had declared
clearly their purpose for breeding wild animals.

Tran Van Nguyen, deputy head of Binh Duong park rangers, said the agency
had suggested to higher authorities that the registration is extended
for the three companies.

He also said the companies would not be allowed to raise the animals for
commercial purposes, noting that Vietnam has signed the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 1994 and joined the
International Tiger Coalition.

An official from the inspection team said they had requested the
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to instruct the park
rangers to tag the tigers with microchips for better management.

“I wonder why the Forest Protection Department has not attached
microchips on the tigers,” he said. “Without this, the breeder can
secretly trade the animal after concealing their reproduction.”

On July 16, two men were arrested while transporting a dead tiger from a
central province to Hanoi.

Hoang Van Su and taxi driver Nguyen Trung Phong were found with a
60-kilogram frozen tiger and 11 kilograms of tiger bones in the trunk of
the latter’s cab.

Police said Su had hired Phong to carry the tiger and bones from the
central province of Thanh Hoa to a buyer in Hanoi.

Dr. Pham Trong Anh, an expert from the Hanoi-based Institute of Ecology
and Biological Resources, said the tiger was a baby of about 4-5 months.
He said the bones belonged to at least two different tigers.

It was unclear what the tigers had died of and whether they were wild or
taken from illegal farms.

In Vietnam, tigers are only found along the Truong Son Mountain Range in
the central regitigers left, as most have been wiped out to make traditional medicine.

Tiger bones are believed to have aphrodisiac properties by many
countries in the Far East and Southeast Asia.

Too risky

Early this month, the World Bank told a key international meeting on
wildlife trade that experimenting with tiger farming is too risky and
could drive wild tigers further toward extinction.

“Extinction is irreversible, so prudence and precaution suggest that the
risks of legalized farming are too great a gamble for the world to take,”
World Bank Director Keshav Varma told the member countries of the 58th
meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) Standing Committee on July 9.

Because of the unpredictability of the market environment and the small
number of remaining tigers in the wild, there is “no room for
experimentation,” Varma, who leads the World Bank’s Global Tiger
Initiative, said after the meeting.

“Commercial trading in tiger parts and its derivatives is not in the
interest of wild tiger conservation.”

“Given the unpredictability of the market environment along with the
fact that there are only 3,500 tigers in the wild, there is no room for
experimentation,” Varma told the International Tiger Coalition (ITC).

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) later endorsed the World Bank’s
call for countries to ban tiger farming because of the uncertainty that
it will have for the long-term conservation of wild tigers.

“Stopping all trade in tiger parts, and phasing out these tiger farms,
is of the utmost urgency if the tiger is to survive in the wild,” said
Dr. Susan Lieberman, director of the species program at WWF

“It is time for the world community to join together, with tiger range
state governments, to stop all poaching of tigers for illegal trade, and
WWF welcomes the engagement of the World Bank in these efforts,” she

Reported by Quang Thuan
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

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