VIENTIANE, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith warned individuals and groups not to hunt or trade prohibited and endangered wildlife and plant species, saying that violators will face strong measures, local media reported Saturday.
The premier recently issued a four-page order instructing relevant sectors to step up efforts to protect and inspect prohibited wildlife and plant species.
He warned people to stop hunting wildlife and plant species named as prohibited in List I -- the most rigorously prohibited out of three lists, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Saturday.
The import, export, transit, and trade of both living and dead species of these plants and animals, as well as their organs, are all prohibited.
The prohibition is in line with the Law on Wildlife and Aquatic Animals, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which Laos is a party.
Lao authorities in charge were told to take actions to inspect any shops and other premises selling prohibited wildlife species or their organs in order to curb the trade.
In addition, the premier instructed relevant departments to strictly regulate wildlife species prohibited in List II in accordance with the law and the CITES.
He also warned against the setting up of farms to rear the endangered species identified in List I for commercial purposes. Any existing commercial farm must be turned into an open farm or a zoo, to be used for ecotourism purposes or research activities.
Director of the ministry's Wildlife Management Division, Department of Forestry, Sengrath Phirasack told media the measures were comprehensive and clear and would ease the division's work.
He admitted it was necessary to continue campaigns to raise public awareness on the issue so that people knew which wildlife and plant species were endangered and that their hunting and trade were consequently prohibited.