WWF gives 'green score' to India for efforts to stop trade in endangered elephants, tigers
New Delhi, July 23 (ANI): India and Nepal have received a 'green' score for their efforts to stop trade in elephants, rhinos and tigers, according to a report by environment group World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
According to Herald Sun, releasing a report rating countries' efforts at stopping the trade in endangered species, WWF said elephant poaching was at crisis levels in central Africa, while the survival of rhinos was under grave threat in South Africa.
The report revealed that China, Vietnam and Thailand are among the worst offenders in fuelling a global black market due to which a record numbers of elephants and rhinos were killed in Africa.
In parts of Asia, rhino horns are highly prized as they are used in traditional medicines, while elephants' ivory has for centuries been regarded as a precious decoration.
WWF said that Vietnam was one of the countries of most concern, giving it a worst-possible "red" score for failing to stem the trade in rhino horns as well as tiger parts.
"It is time for Vietnam to face the fact that its illegal consumption of rhino horn is driving the widespread poaching of endangered rhinos in Africa," WWF's global species programme manager, Elizabeth McLellan, said.
"It must crack down on the illegal rhino horn trade," she added.
It described South Africa as the "epicentre" in an African rhino poaching crisis, despite strong government efforts there that began in 2009 to stop the killings.
A record 448 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2011, and this year could be even worse with 262 already lost from January to June, WWF revealed.
The wildlife group accused the Vietnamese Government of doing very little to stop rhino horns from being imported, describing penalties in Vietnam for buying them as not nearly strong enough to act as a deterrent.
WWF urged China to improve its enforcement procedures and warn Chinese nationals they would face severe penalties if they were caught illegally importing ivory from Africa. (ANI)
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