News / Asia

Burma Struggles to Crack Down on Wildlife Consumption

Burma Struggles to Crack Down on Wildlife Consumptioni
X
February 28, 2013
As international visitors flock to newly-opened Burma, authorities are struggling to crack down on restaurants at some tourist spots that have long featured endangered wildlife on their menus. VOA's Daniel Schearf visited the popular "Golden Rock" Pagoda in Kyaiktiyo, northeast of Rangoon, and has this report.
TEXT SIZE - +
Daniel Schearf
— As international visitors flock to newly-opened Burma, authorities are struggling to crack down on restaurants at some tourist spots that have long featured endangered wildlife on their menus. 

Catering to tourist

Buddhist devotees give offerings at the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, (File photo).Buddhist devotees give offerings at the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, (File photo).
x
Buddhist devotees give offerings at the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, (File photo).
Buddhist devotees give offerings at the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, (File photo).
The pagoda on the Golden Rock of Kyaiktiyo attracts thousands of visitors who ascend the steep mountain to see what appears as a miraculous balance.

Restaurant hawkers compete for their tourist dollars and some are catering to demands for exotic food, including endangered wildlife.

Demand for wild game

Htet Ko says they have been serving wild animal meat for 13 years, but since this article was translated into Burmese, officials inspect his family's restaurant every week, so they have to hide the meat.

"The local forestry ministry banned all kinds of wild animal dishes including our popular dishes like barking deer and sambur meat," he said.  "However, 99 percent of visitors want to eat those kinds of wildlife food."

The San Let Tin Resort in Kyaiktiyo township may raise some eyebrows having the area's only zoo next to its restaurant.

But manager, Tint Swe Oo, insists the resort owner is an animal lover and says, unlike some restaurants, those in cages here are not on the menu.

"They [restaurant owners who serve wild animals] should stop selling it [wild animal meat] now. There are many other types of meat that can replace it," he said.  "Wild animals should not be on the menu.  I would like to see wild animals living in the forests peacefully."

Serving endangered wildlife has long been illegal here;  but enforcement, before the new government, was lacking says temple official U Myint Swe.  

Game for food enforced

Now, he says, they successfully stopped the trade in about 80 percent of restaurants.

"We cannot accept serving wildlife meat around the religious area.  We can only allow selling normal meat that is approved by the government. Some restaurants have served wildlife food secretly before," U Myint Swe explained. "However, the numbers of those restaurants are decreasing because of the inspections by officials."

Meanwhile, vendors openly sell animal parts as traditional medicine.

U Myint Swe says protectionists have discussed better safeguards for endangered wildlife with United Nations organizations.

He says they would welcome more enforcement efforts.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid