Wild animals found in Vietnam passenger van

QUANG BINH - Police in the central province of Quang Binh yesterday stopped a van and discovered wild animals on board, including small Indian civets (Viverricula indica) and soft shell turtles, all being transported illegally.

Traffic police ordered the stop for a safety check when they encountered the passenger van, which had departed from Hue and was travelling on the national highway in the province's Quan Hau Township section.

The van driver, a Hue resident, failed to present police permits for transporting the 13 civets and 7 turtles.

Police seized the animals, and further investigations are underway.

Civets and soft shell turtles are used as expensive food specialities in restaurants around Viet Nam.

Hunting, capturing, transporting, trading and killing these animals for food are prohibited under Vietnamese laws. However, there is no raiding campaign in place to stop the consumption of these animals. Diners can order dishes that include meat from these animals at almost any high-end restaurant.