The never-ending adventures of a travel writer in Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rantings on Binh Thuan's Wildlife Distribution Centers

Inspected what I could only describe as a wildlife distribution center the other day. Absolutely revolted, disgusted and frustrated. Tortoises, porcupines, a gazillion monitor lizards, civets, bamboo rats, etc. etc. All poached from the nearby national park. Yet the owner brags its all "legal." The government knows all about it and is fine with it due to a loophole in the law that allows people to get a permit for captive breeding and then do whatever the h@ll they want using that piece of paper as an umbrella--in other words stealing all their stock from the wild.

Please, if you visit a restaurant serving wild animals--including snakes, turtles, deer, etc.--no matter what they tell you about them being raised on a farm or showing you documentation--it is all a big fat lie. I don't care whether your idiot government-licensed tour guide tells you or what some gullible Lonely Planet guidebook writer wrote. Please don't eat there. Complain, scream, smack them over their scrawny little heads, but please do not patronize them or give them your money.

Expose coming on this subject, with lots of photos...


Unknown said...

If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. There are two restaurants near me that serve such things, one even has them in cages just behind the eating area.
It's all so blatant, and unnecessary.

Adam Bray said...

Thanks so much for posting that. I think there's definitely some illegal things there, and the pangolin on the menu is particularly alarming. Do you happen to have an address for these places? I'd really like to get some photos while I'm in town. Trying to build up some documentation for publicity of the issue.

I'd suggest forwarding that to ENV in Hanoi or WAR in Saigon Both are great organizations that I've coordinated with on these kinds of things. They can check the permits and paperwork on the places, and when it's determined that the animals are illegal, they work with authorities to get them confiscated.

Adam Bray said...

Love your chicken on the electric wires by the way. Really sums up Saigon in a single photo!

Unknown said...

Hi Adam.

I'm not sure of the street numbers of either establishment, but I can tell you how to find them.

The place with Pangolin and more is:

Ba Thang Hai, District 10
If you're riding west from District 1 it's on the right not long after you cross Nguyen Tri Phuong. You will see the big "104J" sign on the top.
If you hit Lotteria you've gone too far. There are only two large restaurants along that strip.

The "mini-zoo" can be found on An Duong Vuong. You need to head east from Nguyen Tri Phuong, straight through the big roundabout, then look for a large restaurant on the right, just after the traffic lights. You'll see a girl in a bright Ao Dai standing outside the front, attracting customers. I think it's Chinese, and there's a very popular local Com Tam (with almost no signage) on the opposite corner.
Here's some soccer crowd video taken from outside and inside that restaurant:

Go to about 1:45 to see the view of the street from inside

Adam Bray said...

Thanks so much for the info. I'll go check it out as soon as I have a chance.

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