Commercial farming of wildlife, particularly in Southeast Asia, is currently the subject of much debate and to date, its conservation impact has been largely unexplored. This study used semi-structured interviews to build a detailed understanding of the dynamics of the commercial farming of Southeast Asian porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) in the northwest Vietnamese province of Son La. Although farm owners are obliged by law to propagate stock solely from farm-bred animals, 58% of farm owners admitted purchasing wild founder stock, with at least 19% continuing to buy wild individuals. Despite the number of farms, the primary demand on them is to supply other farms, and wild meat restaurants were still sourcing their meat from wild populations. Lower cost was a major factor driving the trade in wild animals, with wild adult porcupines being bought for half the price of farm-bred adults. With high demand from farms and restaurants, increased targeted hunting may be the cause of a dramatic decline in the wild population of porcupines across the region.