Dvur Kralove nad Labem, East Bohemia, Nov 19 (CTK) – The Czech Republic and Vietnam will jointly fight against rhino horn trafficking, according to a declaration on cooperation in fulfilling the CITES convention on treating endangered wild species, which representatives of the two countries signed yesterday.
Rhino horns are on high demand mainly in China and Vietnam where people ascribe healing effects to them and are willing to pay astronomic sums for them.
That is why rhinos often become victims of poaching.
Illegal trafficking in rhino horns is also a problem in the Czech Republic, which is a transit country for smugglers.
Some members of the Czech Vietnamese community join the trafficking.
“The Czech Republic does not want to be a transit country. With our Vietnamese partners, we want to exchange information and focus on the education of the Vietnamese community, Czech Deputy Environment Minister Vladimir Dolejsky said after the signing ceremony.
The declaration is the first that Prague has signed with another state in the area of trafficking in endangered wild species.
Vietnamese Deputy Agriculture Minister Ha Cong Tuan said it is necessary to promote the fact that rhino horns have no healing effect.
Vietnam, too, is mainly a transit country for smugglers and it tries to eradicate the illegal trafficking on its territory. Over 300 kg of rhino horns and 30 tonnes of ivory were seized in Vietnam in the past four years, he said.
The smugglers face up to seven years in prison in Vietnam and the government is considering toughening the punishment to up to 15 years.
The Dvur Kralove zoo has been active within the campaign against rhino horn trafficking.
In September 2014, it burnt over 50 kg of rhino horns within the Burn Horns, Save Rhinos event aimed to raise people´s awareness of the problem.
The campaign, initiated by the Dvur Kralove zoo, was joined by other zoos in the Czech Republic and abroad.