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Demand in Viet Nam for Rhinoceros Horn Used in Traditional Medicine

image of Demand in Viet Nam for Rhinoceros Horn Used in Traditional Medicine

This study aims to understand better the demand for traditional medicine and more contemporary health-related reasons, collectively referred to as ATM in this report, in Viet Nam. The country is strategically important for illegally traded wildlife products, such as pangolin scales and rhino horn. Using an in-person survey of over 1,000 respondents on wildlife consumed as medicine, the study had four main objectives: identify consumer profile of ATM users (age, income, gender, etc.), identify recent trends in ATM consumption among users, focusing on two high conservation-value species (pangolin and rhino), identify the main attributes of demand (quality, price, harvesting method, etc.), evaluate the policy options to reduce demand for high-conservation species. To provide insights and broader overview of market trends, the authors also interviewed experts in ATM in Viet Nam.

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Findings from interviews, surveys and choice experiments

The semi-structured interviews of key informants indicate that usage of ATMs in Viet Nam has declined slightly, due to a sharp drop in the availability of certain wild species as well as the introduction of tougher legal trading restrictions that further lowered supply and raised prices. Other contributing factors include improved social awareness of the side effects of ATM in treatment and the importance of wild animal conservation. In addition, as ATM prices rise, questions about effectiveness become more prominent. Last, but not least, the high availability of counterfeit products, driven by the high market price, makes it almost impossible to identify genuine ATMs, resulting in falling customer confidence levels with respect to ATM usage.

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