ENV launched a new outreach event focused on encouraging the public not to use traditional medicine (TM) made from wildlife. The new event is the first of many that will be held in major cities throughout Vietnam in the coming year. Volunteers from ENV’s Hanoi Wildlife Protection Club hosted the event, held at Lotte Mart Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
Vietnam’s biodiversity continues to be threatened by the consumption and trade of wildlife, including rhino horn, tiger bone glue, and bear bile TM. Dung Phuong Nguyen, Director of Operations at ENV, comments, “Consuming wildlife traditional medicines poses a huge threat to the environment, while also supporting the illegal hunting and trafficking of wild animals. Where do the profits end up? Ultimately, in the hands of criminals.”
Dung advised, “The public should not buy or use TM products, especially when there are numerous other less harmful and more effective treatments available using modern medicine or traditional herbal alternatives.”
The standees and panels at the event included information on how killing wildlife for TM destroys biodiversity and further threatens endangered animal species. It also reminded the public that there is a lack of evidence on the health benefits of wildlife TM, whilst the trade of wild animals poses potential risks to human health. In addition to informative panels, this and future TM events aim to engage the public through quizzes, signing of pledges, and listening to the thoughts and ideas of visitors.
This event is one step in a much broader campaign to change perceptions and use of wildlife TM in Vietnam. ENV’s campaign against the consumption and trade of wildlife TM has also involved radio broadcasts, viral campaigns on social media, surveys, public service announcements (PSAs) broadcast across 50-60 national TV channels, volunteer public engagement activities, and working closely with TM practitioners to promote medicinal alternatives.
ENV’s Hanoi Wildlife Protection Club, who ran this first event, have taken on the name, ‘The Hanoi Rhinos’. They are one of six ENV clubs operating nationally in major cities, tasked with assisting with compliance monitoring of businesses, hosting public events, and other engagement activities.
ENV wants to thank the United States Department of State for supporting our TM campaign and enabling this key awareness event to take place.