Malaysia: The government should introduce more stringent laws to curb wildlife poaching activities

Amira Eizan Azman New Straits Times 19 Jun 18;

KUALA LUMPUR: Animal activist, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the government should introduce a more stringent law to help curb wildlife poaching activities as many of the culprits are not deterred by the punishment provided under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

“The Act should be amended to include a mandatory minimum jail term for those found guilty to be involved in poaching activities, including those who keep the carcasses of the wild animals.

“Although the Wildlife Conservation Act, which was passed in 2010 to replace the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, is tough on lawbreakers, some quarters claimed that it is not a deterrent enough,” he added.

NST in its recent reports exposed that poachers have become cruel and they opted for brutal ways to catch animals including laying wire snares that could inflict a slow painful death.

The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) had proposed for the amendment of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and with that, poachers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and it will provide heavier punishment while a minimum period of imprisonment will be introduced as currently the act has no such provision.

Lee said all Malaysians must be more proactive in curbing the sale and purchase of endangered animals and their parts through a more effective national and international legislation and enforcement.

The patron of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor hoped that the enforcement agencies can strengthen their cooperation to help cripple poaching syndicates nationwide.

He further suggested the agencies involved use the latest technology, including drones, remote sensing and camera trapping, to curb poaching and smuggling activities all over the country.

“Wildlife protection is not only the responsibility of the enforcement agencies but protecting wildlife but requires collaboration across NGOs, government, corporate stakeholders and local communities.”

He believed that greater public awareness, better law enforcement and stronger political will are needed to not only prevent illegal wildlife trade but also to avoid over exploitation of natural resources.

“Animal cruelty in whatever form must never be tolerated and we need to care for all of them as they also have the right to live and share this planet, Lee said giving his opinion in regards of animal rights.

Anybody who has any information on wildlife crime can lodge a report to the Perhilitan hotline (1-800-88-5151, office hours) or the Wildlife Crime Hotline at 0193564194.