Malaysia: Bush meat widely sold in Sabah

The Star 23 Nov 15;

KOTA KINABALU: A variety of bush meat are still widely sold in local tamu or farmers markets in the interior of Sabah despite the state’s all-out war against illegal trade and poaching of wildlife.

Bush meat ranging from wild boars to protected species like the Sambar and barking deer were on sale at a tamu in Nabawan, about 200km from the state capital, said wildlife conservationist Fairul Pat Lingam.

Fairul, 40, who stopped by the market during a trip to the interior on Saturday, said that when he was taking pictures of the various bush meat sold openly, he was threatened with bodily harm as about 12 to 15 people started gathering around him.

He said he quickly thanked the sellers and quietly walked away as he sensed that he could be harmed.

On his return to Kota Kinabalu, Fairul lodged a police report yesterday about the sale of bush meat in Nabawan tamu and also the threat by one of bush meat sellers that if he returns to Nabawan he would be shot.

Nabawan tamu which operates every Tuesday and Saturday is widely seen by Sabah Wildlife Department as a hotspot for the sale of bush meat where wildlife rangers were also threatened previously.

Fairul, said that he hoped that either the police or wildlife department could take firm action against the illegal trade and poaching of wildlife in Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu City police chief Asst Comm M. Chandra in confirming the report said that the case would be forwarded to the Wildlife Department while the case of criminal intimidation would be probed by Keningau police.

Wildlife officials have in the past described Nabawan district in southern Sabah as one of the hotspots in recent years due to the road networks all the way to Tawau in the east coast of Sabah.

They have not dismissed the possibility that bush meat sold in Nabawan was from animals illegally hunted in Maliau Basin or as far as some protected forest reserves in Tawau and Lahad Datu.

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