Captive breeding is the propagation of a species in a controlled facility outside the normal environment of an animal. Although captive breeding is often associated with the non-commercial breeding of endangered species to keep them alive in situations when they have become threatened or extinct in the wild, increasingly captive breeding is used to create commercial industries for trade in wildlife parts, even for animals that are considered critically endangered.
The Vietnamese government has recently instituted a series of policies that provide incentives for captive breeding of some species (including some that are critically endangered). Estimates range over the number of captive breeding facilities in Vietnam, but there are likely at least several hundred different ones. These include numerous farms breeding several species of python, and Vietnam is the only country currently exporting captive bred python products for commercial use, with over 200,000 skins exported per year, most of which go to China and the European fashion industry. There are at least five large farms for the captive breeding of the Siamese crocodile, which have bred nearly 50,000 animals for trade in skins, despite the fact that this species is functionally extinct in the wild. Tens of thousands of macaques are currently being bred, mostly for the wild meat trade. Other sources of meat trade from captive breeding include wild boar and cobra. Most controversially, Vietnam has 11 registered tiger farms, and these operations have been pointed to as being involved in illegal markets for tiger parts as they have not engaged in any conservation activities to date.
This project will try to document the scale and scope of the commercial captive breeding system in Vietnam for the first time.
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