Vietnamese police seize 17 captive tigers

Police in Vietnam have raided a farm and rescued 17 tigers kept in small cages.
Police in Vietnam have raided a farm and rescued 17 tigers kept in small cages.

Police in a central province of Vietnam have raided a farm and seized 17 tigers that had been bred in small cages, state media reports.

The raid, which took place at dawn, saw dozens of police enter a tiger breeding facility in a house in Vietnam's mountainous central Nghe An province, on the border of Laos.

Police found 17 adult tigers, some weighing more than 200 kilograms, trapped in cages, local outlet Thanh Nien newspaper reported, quoting Nghe An province's police.

The tigers were transferred to the police station, where authorities are carrying out further investigations.

For many years, both Nghe An province and neighbouring Ha Tinh province have been known as major hotspots for animal trafficking, especially in tigers.

Tiger-bone paste is a valued ingredient in Vietnamese and Chinese traditional medicine. A kilogram of pure tiger-bone paste can sell for up to $US5000 ($A6770) on the black market.

On Sunday, Nghe An Province police also arrested two men from Ha Tinh province after catching them transporting seven live tiger cubs to Nghe An, Nghe An police said in a statement.

The suspect said an unidentified Laotian trafficker had paid them to transport the cubs to Nghe An province. The cubs have now been handed over to Pu Mat National Park Rescue Centre.

Vietnamese police have identified numerous cases relating to the illegal breeding, trafficking and killing of tigers in recent years.

Australian Associated Press