WCS Finds Vietnam’s Commercial Wildlife Farms Hurting, Not Helping Wildlife

WCS Finds Vietnam’s Commercial Wildlife Farms Hurting, Not Helping Wildlife

New report says farms are a detriment to conservation efforts & enforcement
NEW YORK (May 21, 2009)—
Commercial wildlife farms in Southeast Asia—where rare snakes, turtles, crocodiles, monkeys, and other species are bred and raised in captivity for the purpose of producing meat and wildlife products—do not alleviate the exploitation of populations in the wild.

In fact, wildlife farms make the problem worse, according to a recent joint study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Vietnam’s Forest Protection Department. The study found that commercial wildlife farms actually deplete wild populations and contribute to illegal wildlife trade.

Rather than protecting wild populations, 42 percent of the 78 farms surveyed in Vietnam were regularly bringing animals in from the wild. And 50 percent of the farms reported that their founder populations were taken from the wild or produced from a combination of wild and farm stock. Researchers also found links between several farms and the illegal wildlife trade, with farm owners admitting to illegally transport wildlife to the Chinese border for export into Chinese markets. Other illegal practices uncovered included the purchase of farm stock from commercial hunters, and unlicensed transport and importation of wildlife and wildlife products.

“Instead of enhancing conservation, commercial wildlife farms actually threaten wild populations,” said Dr. Elizabeth L. Bennett, Director of WCS’s Hunting and Wildlife Trade program, “From the report’s analysis it appears the negative impacts of wildlife farms on wild populations vastly outweigh any advantages.”

Even farms raising fast-growing species with high-reproductive rates negatively impact conservation efforts through the continued importation of wild animals, according to the study. And 20 percent of wildlife farm owners interviewed reported escapes of dangerous animals (crocodiles, cobras, pythons, etc.), hybridized animals (soft-shelled turtles), and animals outside of their natural range.

With respect to the needs of local communities, the study concluded that commercial wildlife farms do not reduce the reliance of rural communities on wild animal populations for protein or contribute to food security, but rather supply luxury items to urban consumers.

The study focused on wildlife farms located in 12 provinces in northern, central, and southern Vietnam. Farm owners were interviewed by study authors, who documented 22 farmed species, including six globally threatened species and five species listed on Appendix I of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which prohibits all international commercial trade in Appendix I species. CITES is an international agreement between governments, formed to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

In light of the study’s findings, the report’s authors recommend prohibiting farms from holding both nationally-protected species and Globally-threatened species appearing on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species; applying strict penalties to farm owners in violation of wildlife protection laws; and transferring to farm owners the burden of proving the source of animals kept on wildlife farms.

Contact Stephen Sautner: (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org <mailto:ssautner@wcs.org> ) John Delaney: (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org <mailto:jdelaney@wcs.org> )


Judy Mills
Moderator, International Tiger Coalition
Wildlife Trade Advisor, Conservation International
1-202-986-1882  Landline
1-202-674-4588 Mobile

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


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:


Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.


  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

Nine charged with killing leopard

Nine charged with killing leopard 31 Jan 2009, 0722 hrs IST, IANS RAIPUR: Nine ...

Getting serious about saving the wild tiger

Getting serious about saving the wild tiger John SeidenstickerKeshav VarmaOctober 22, 2009 For too ...

One more leopard dead in village

One more leopard was found dead in Dwarikhal development block in Garhwal District of ...