Southeast Asia Commercial Wildlife Farms Actually Hurt Wild Populations

animal cage vietnam photo

photo: Christopher via flickr.

The idea behind Southeast Asia's commercial wildlife farms is raising "wild" animals in captivity to provide meat and wildlife products, and thereby take pressure off populations of these same animals in the wild. Too bad they have the exact opposite effect. That's the word coming from the Wildlife Conservation Society:Half of Farms Surveyed Collected From Wild
After conducting a joint study with Vietnam's Forest Protection Department of nearly 80 farms, the prognosis isn't good: 42 farms were found to be regularly bringing in animals from the wild. Half were also found to have acquired their initial animal stock from the wild. Furthermore, several farms were found to have links with the illegal wildlife trade, with owners admitting that they trafficked animals to China.

Urban Dwellers Are Main Market
If that weren't bad enough, the study found that they did not alleviate pressures from local communities on wild animal populations. Instead the farms primarily serve wealthy urban consumers demand for luxury items.

As a result of this the Wildlife Conservation Society recommends,

...prohibiting farms from holding both nationally protected and globally threatened species, penalizing farm owners who violate wildlife protection laws, and requiring farm owners to document the source of the animals they keep.

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