Authorities in northern Laos have seized and destroyed over 200 kilograms of wildlife parts that had been openly on sale at fresh markets.
Officers from the Luang Namtha Forest Inspection Division confiscated and destroyed over 200 kilograms of wildlife parts in a ceremony held on Tuesday.
The animal carcasses and parts were collected from marketplaces in the province, KPL reports.
Animals and parts found on sale in the province included boar, muntjac, civet, cobras, and others with a total value of approximately LAK 12 million.
Following the confiscation and destruction of the animal parts on Tuesday, market vendors were issued a warning.
Poaching and wildlife trafficking remain problematic for Laos, despite an order issued by the Prime Minister of Laos in 2018 on the management and inspection of prohibited wild fauna and flora.
Some merchants have been found openly advertising animals and animal parts across social media channels, with a large trade known to occur on Tencent’s WeChat.
Other individuals continue to post videos to Facebook and TikTok of themselves cooking and eating protected species, seemingly unaware of regulations.
Despite reports that wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia has decreased due to pandemic restrictions and lower demand for wildlife products, experts believe traders may be stockpiling animal parts in anticipation of renewed demand as restrictions ease.