The Myanmar Times
Myat Moe Aung,
October 3, 2018
A plan by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation
to burn elephant tusks and other seized wildlife parts sparked criticism on
The ministry said the parts that will be burned include ivory, antelope
antlers, python skins, pangolin scales, as well as leopard, bear and
This will be the first time the ministry will destroy such items, it added.
U Win Naing Thaw, director of the Nature and Wildlife Conservation
Department, said, “We won’t burn all of them, as some will be kept in a
“We know that over 20 countries around the world destroy illegal wildlife
parts in this way. We want to wipe out the illegal market and let people
know that if they trade illegal items, they will be seized and destroyed,”
Being part of the notorious Golden Triangle, Myanmar is facing an
unprecedented poaching crisis because it is at the heart of an illicit
global wildlife trade, according to the ministry.
But one critic said burning wildlife parts will not end the illicit trade.
“It is not the way to solve this problem. People who trade and hunt
illegally should be imprisoned,” he said. “I think the parts should be
shown in a museum.”
The ministry effort is supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society and
World Wide Fund for Nature and comes ahead of a London conference on
illegal wildlife trade on October 10 and 11 that will be attended by a
Myanmar delegation headed by Natural Resources and Environmental
Conservation Minister U Ohn Win.
A conservationist said the parts would be more useful in a public education
“I do not support the burning of illegal wildlife parts. They should be
used to try to raise public awareness.
“Not only gold and jewels are precious for our country; wildlife parts
should also be considered a national treasure.”