After a two-year run in Malaysia, TRAFFIC and The Body Shop have expanded their successfulWhere’s My Mama? campaign to Viet Nam, highlighting the plight of two iconic species threatened by the global illegal wildlife trade – the White Rhino and Asiatic Black Bear. The campaign that draws attention to the countless wild animals orphaned when their mothers are killed or poached for the illegal wildlife trade was first launched in Malaysia in 2011.
The campaign launched in Viet Nam on October 4th, in conjunction with World Animal Day and focuses on the illegal slaughter of these threatened species to feed the demand for traditional medicine products and the plight of the young victims left in the wake of this mindless killing and illicit trade.
The campaign urges consumers in Viet Nam – major users of rhino horn and bear bile – to consider the impact their purchases have these species. The White Rhino, the largest of the world’s five Rhino species, faces tremendous poaching pressure, especially in South Africa. Illegal hunting and trade in this species is fuelled by Asia’s demand for the animal’s horn. Historically horn had limited use used in traditional medicine. More recently, however, consumption has skyrocketed on new beliefs that horn has broad detoxifying properties and on users’ desires to show status and wealth. Many of the slain rhinos are mothers with calves, leaving countless young rhinos orphaned, defenceless and with little chance of survival.
“It is important that greater action is taken in Viet Nam to detect, arrest and prosecute sellers and consumers of illegal wildlife products, including those trading in rhino horn and bear products. The Body Shop is taking an important step to help raise awareness of this important issue with the greater public in Viet Nam. This should be seen as a starting point for greater social and political effort to combat this situation” said Dr. Naomi Doak, Coordinator of TRAFFIC’s Southeast Asia-Greater Mekong Programme.
Asiatic Black Bears are illegally killed, hunted for their gall bladder, their meat and body parts. Bear gall bladder and bile are common ingredients in traditional medicine treatments. Orphaned cubs are captured for the pet trade, to be put on display in zoos or are caged in bear farms for years where their bile is harvested cruelly for use in traditional medicines. This practice persists in spite of readily available herbal-based alternatives.
Messages on The Body Shop bags will urge the public to stop using products containing parts of these two threatened species, and to report illegal wildlife trade to the Wildlife Crime Hotline 1800 1522 run by Education for Nature Viet Nam (ENV).
The Body Shop has always been an advocate of Animal Protection. Being the first cosmetic company in the world to not test on animals, this cosmetic company continues its fight to protect the planet with various campaigns and awareness programmes. “Animal protection is not something new to us. The Body Shop was after all the first beauty and cosmetic company to ban animal testing in our products. Since, we have come a long way in trying hard to protect our planet and in ensuring that the animals in it see the light of day. At The Body Shop, not only are all our products 100 % Vegetarian, but we choose to use our brand as an advocate to raise awareness about wildlife trafficking and how the public can make a difference to put an end to this,” explains Datin Mina Cheah-Foong, Managing Director of The Body Shop, Viet Nam.
The “Where’s My Mama” campaign runs on www.facebook.com/Trafficsea and in The Body Shop stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.