Malaysia: Exotic pet sellers turn to Internet to avoid arrest

Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah New Straits Times 15 May 17;

KOTA BARU: Despite the authorities’ crackdown on pet sellers who have turned to online portals to sell wild animals, including totally protected species they are still carrying their business.

Sources said the pet sellers had added tiger cubs (panthera tigris), monkeys (long-tailed macaque), leopard cats (panthera pardus), sulphur crested cockatoo (cacatua galerita) and slow loris (nycticebus coucang) to their list.

The sources said the sellers normally made their offers on Facebook and

“Before this, they were selling bearcat and parrots but they have turned to tiger cubs, leopard cats, monkeys and birds.

“They are working in departments and private offices but their income is not enough to support their living. Therefore, they choose to get involved in the business.

“There are students who are involved in the trade and most of them are from higher learning institutions as they want more pocket money,” said the sources.

Kelantan Wildlife and National Parks Department director Mohd Hasdi Husin said it was monitoring the online sales.

“The department will arrest the pet sellers if they are found breaching the law,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Those found guilty could be charged under Section 60 and 68 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) for hunting or keeping protected wildlife without licence or permit. If convicted, they can be fined between RM50,000 and RM500,000 or jailed up to five years.