Malaysia: Stop online trade of wildlife

ERNAMA New Straits Times 4 Mar 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today urged the public to stop illegal online trading of wildlife as it is highly threatened by the new trend.

He said with cyberspace as the market, anyone could fall for the scams created by unscrupulous individuals and groups looking to make fast money from selling rare and exotic animals which were not found in pet shops.

“I would like to make a plea to the Malaysian public to stop buying and selling wildlife illegally. “Do not be one who contributes towards the extinction of wildlife in our country, rather be one who contributes towards its protection in its own habitat,” he said in a statement today.

The statement was issued in conjunction with World Wildlife Day, celebrated yesterday.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “The Future of Wildlife Is In Our Hands.” Wan Junaidi said the authorities had stepped up cybercrime surveillance and managed to nab several individuals who were involved in illegal wildlife trade on the social media.

“And it is sad to know that many of them are youth of young age,” he added.

The minister said the ministry also looked forward to having more experience with building and maintaining viaducts as safe crossings for wildlife, especially with the unprecedented events of the deaths of tigers this year due to poaching and a road accident, as well as the increasing rate of roadkills involving other wildlife species.

“Such structures help to maintain connectivity between habitats and ensure that natural corridors are available for large mammals to move as they search for food and shelter.

“Habitat loss and degradation are major causes of wildlife population decline,” said Wan Junaidi.

Furthermore, he said, Malaysia had renewed its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where there were goals to end poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking last year.

“The government has put in place several policies and plans related to the protection and conservation of wildlife and its habitats, including the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan (NTAP), National Elephant Conservation Action Plan (NECAP), Central Forest Spine Master Plan for Ecological Linkages, as well as the recently launched new National Biodiversity Policy,” he said. --BERNAMA

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