Animals Asia Uncovers Animal Abuse in Vietnam’s Circuses and Amusement Parks

Animal abuse has been evident in some circus and amusement facilities in Vietnam. based on Animals Asia's report.
Animals perform in many circuses and entertainment parks in Vietnam.

Animals Asia exposes animal abuse in Vietnam’s circuses and entertainment parks. The government’s drive to protect the animals isn’t enough to cushion them from such cruelty.

The Hong Kong-based non-profit animal rights group Animals Asia revealed animal abuse in the said facilities. Animals live in restricted cages and corals and indicate stress-influenced behaviours.

Animals Asia Reveals Unacceptable Animal Abuse

According to the group, the animals were underweight, shaky, backed away, and self-harming. Moreover, they observed that trainers force these animals to perform tricks and are subdued to loud noises and intense lights.

The exposé was published in Animals Asia Vietnam Circus Report. It also stated endangered animals including gibbons, Siamese crocodiles, Asian elephants, and Asiatic black bears. These animals, especially macaques were commonly used in circuses and entertainment parks even though it’s against the Vietnamese law.

Additionally, the findings emphasize issues on illegal wildlife trafficking. From 2008 to 2019, data suggests that Vietnam imported 38 bottlenose dolphins. Out of the 38 marine mammals, 33 were caught from the wild in Japan. Only four infrastructures were discovered hosting dolphin circus shows during the probe. It means that the most of the sea creatures have already died, especially those that were brought previously.

The country likewise boasts over 3,000 roadside zoos. Animals such as tigers and chimpanzees are only confined in concrete enclosures. Such situations encourage risky customer interactions.

Crackdown on Vietnam’s Animal Abuse

Animals Asia appreciates the Vietnamese government’s effort to curb on facilities that abuse animals. The government’s last report on animal welfare was in 2017. Since then, officials began taking action. However, the endeavor wasn’t enough and more should be done.

“Since our last report in 2017, our public outreach campaigns, discussions with the authorities and managers of circus facilities, some of them have stopped operating, and many of them have stopped using animals in their shows. But we are still far from ending these performances for good,” said Dave Neale, Animals Asia director.

Saving the Tigers in Thailand

Meanwhile the authorities arrested four animal traffickers and saved a four months old,  Nong Kwan, a tiger cub. The animal smugglers confessed that they acquired the cub from Laos and ready to deliver to a customer for 400,000 baht. Nevertheless, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DND) will conduct DNA test. It will help identify the tiger species and what country it really came from.

Wildlife authorities also discovered that some apparently smuggled tigers came from private zoos and breeding centers in Thailand. No matter their origin, several trafficked tigers are bound for China and Vietnam. The giant feline’s skin, blood, bones, teeth, claws, and other parts will be incorporated in medicinal products. Sometimes, traffickers sell them as food ingredients.

According to Traffic, Asia became a center for tiger supply ranging from 7,000 to 8,000 animals kept in captivity for breeding. From 2000 to 2015, authorities confiscated some 758 tiger skins. About 30% of the total tiger products apparently came from captive-breeding. How to stop this savage trading is a huge question because wildlife trafficking is such a profitable business.

Image Source: Casablanca1911/WikimediaCommons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)