The Ministry of Environment has said it will act against those who produce cooking videos where rare wildlife was the mainstay of the dishes.
The matter came to light when such videos, which were posted on YouTube as an income stream, were criticised on social media.
Chea Sam Arng, head of the Environment Ministry’s General Directorate for Administration of Nature Conservation and Protection, said the ministry received information about the videos on Wednesday.
Those responsible for the videos went to the ministry on Thursday afternoon to admit their involvement.
“We are now in the process of taking legal action against them while the working group is preparing a report on the matter.
“The animals that were cooked were mostly not on the endangered list, but are protected. Only one species was in danger of extinction,” he said.
Phoun Raty, who attended the ministry-convened press conference on the matter, said he and his wife bought the meat and started producing their cooking videos in December last year. The videos were posted on YouTube last month.
“Actually, all I wanted to do was earn a living from the videos. I apologise to the public. I realise now in doing what we did, we actually contributed to destroying our wild life. I had no intention of doing this.
“Besides, the animals were already dead. Also, we only earned $500 for producing the videos and even then, we have not yet been paid,” he said.
Chan Polin, Raty’s wife, said: “I don’t even know what kind of animals or birds we used or their impact on wildlife conservation.
“I bought the wildlife at Preak Phnov and we started filming our videos since December. Now I have already admitted my mistake,” she said.
Sam Arng said the ministry was conducting probes into where the wildlife was purchased. “As of now we don’t know where the sellers sourced the wildlife from. We will continue investigations,” he said.