Vietnamese consumers urged to lead an active lifestyle and only use proven medicines to curb demand for tiger products on Endangered Species’ Day
HANOI, 21 May 2021 – Today, TRAFFIC is urging consumers to adopt active lifestyles and only use proven medicines as alternatives to tiger bone glue, in a bid to reduce demand for tiger products in Vietnam.
Tiger bone glue is consumed for its perceived health benefits. In a survey conducted by TRAFFIC in 2016, more than 83% of respondents that reported having bought or used tiger products reported buying tiger bone glue.
However, with global wild tiger populations in a precarious position, dropping 97% in the last 100 years, people are encouraged to instead only use proven medicines and to increase the amount they exercise. After a century of decline, overall wild tiger numbers are starting to tick upward. However, in Southeast Asia, tigers are still in crisis and declining in number and much more work is needed to protect this species if we are to secure its future in the wild.
Tigers have long been negatively affected by illegal trade for their parts and products, and Vietnam is a major destination for tiger trade, especially for tiger bone glue. By targeting large user groups of tiger bone glue users we hope to inspire a change in consumer behaviour, resulting in a new social norm against use and purchase of tiger products
Sarah Ferguson, Director of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam office.
Consuming tiger bone glue is also seen as an expression of respect for the elderly. TRAFFIC consumer survey discovered that women using tiger products are typically in their late forties, and prioritise caring about her family’s health, especially the heath of her parents. Both of these archetypes work for private companies or state-owned enterprises.
A series of public service announcements (PSAs) encouraging people to choose medicines proven to improve health and increase their exercise levels are being unveiled today. They will be promoted by Government, prominent civil society organisations, and especially the traditional medicine (TM) sector as leaders to eliminate demand by key users and promote legal alternatives.
- The first PSA promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, initiated by taking exercise, which will help to reduce the suffering of arthritis and other bone pains, rather than using tiger bone glue.
- The second PSA emphasises the need to understand your symptoms before taking any medicines and consult a doctor for proven medical treatment.
- The third PSA encourages family members to show love and care to each other, especially for the elderly in the family, by only gifting them medicines that are proven to improve health.
“Every doctor’s main duty is their patient’s health, but they also need to demonstrate personal ethics and responsibility in their actions to the community and society. Maintaining high standards and ethics in TM means not prescribing products derived from illegal wildlife to protect species in the wild. My colleagues and I are supportive and willing to participate in creative communication initiatives to reduce the need for illegal wildlife use leads to a healthy, prosperous life in harmony with nature,” said Mr. Nguyen Van The, Head of TM Department, TM Hospital of the Vietnam Public Security Ministry.
The project is being funded by the UK government through the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.
Note to editor: For journalists, the set of PSAs can be downloaded from https://cutt.ly/KbKmcz2