Local forestry officials seized more than 80 kilograms of illegal wildlife meat being sold at the Stung Treng town market yesterday morning, along with six live monitor lizards.
Sar Vuthy, O’Pong Maon commune’s chief of Forestry Administration, said officials seized the lizards and the 83 kilos of meat from a local vendor, who was briefly detained at the Forestry Administration for questioning.
“We allowed her to go back home after she made a promise to stop selling or trafficking illegal wildlife meat, and we educated her about the illegality of the act of selling wildlife meat,” he said, adding that among several sellers at the market, only one was caught.
“We decided to release the seller, because this is the first time she sold a little dried deer meat, but if she’s still selling the wildlife meat next time, she must face the law,” Vutha said.
All the meat was buried in the Red Mountain plant nursery, and the six reptiles were released in a conservation area, according to Vutha.
Of the meat seized, 39 kilos were wild pig, 35 kilos were fresh deer, 4 kilos were dried deer, just over 3 kilos were monkey and 2 kilos were monitor lizard.
Yesterday’s bust was not the first in Stung Treng town. In May, a man was arrested there after a police raid on his home revealed 86 kilograms of wildlife meat.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in the first half of 2015, authorities seized 1,183 kilograms of illegal meat.