'No malice or cruelty': Pest control company Anticimex rejects claims of mishandling snake at Tang Plaza

Channel NewsAsia 31 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE: There was no malice or cruelty towards the snake outside Tang Plaza during its capture, said pest control firm Anticimex on Thursday (Jan 31) after the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said it was investigating claims that the animal was mishandled.

AVA announced on Tuesday that it was investigating the case after a video on social media showed an Anticimex employee stepping on a 3m-long python while attempting to capture the struggling animal.

The authority previously said: "Cruelty to animals is an offence under the Animals and Birds Act. AVA has issued a set of guidelines on the proper handling of snakes to all pest control and wildlife management agencies in Singapore."

In response to this, Anticimex told Channel NewsAsia that the workers involved "used all necessary parts of their bodies to safely relocate a very large snake in a public place".

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Malaysia: MMEA saves 12 after oil tanker sinks off Tanjung Penyusop in Johor waters

Malay Mail Yahoo News 31 Jan 19;

KOTA TINGGI, Jan 31 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) today rescued 12 crew members after their vessel sank near Tanjung Penyusop here last night.

All 12 male survivors, including a Malaysian technical passenger, had earlier been stranded at sea after their tanker met with problems at about two nautical miles east of Tanjung Penyusop.

Johor MMEA deputy director (operations) Maritime Captain Sanifah Yusof said the Sea Frontier motor tanker, registered in Saint Kitts and Nevis, was about 75 per cent submerged at about 9.15pm last night.

He said checks revealed that the vessel had hit rocks while attempting to dock, causing hull damage that allowed water into the ship.

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Indonesia: Why burn it? Government studies peatland conservation, management

Yuli Savitri The Jakarta Post 31 Jan 19;

The government has started research into developing peatlands as agricultural lands and conservation areas, following years of plantation companies and farmers using the slash-and-burn method in an attempt to cultivate peatlands.

The South Sumatra Peatland Restoration Team (TRGD) has focused on four areas in the province for developing as peat management and research centers.

TRGD chairman Najib Asmani said that the four areas were mapped on their individual characteristics for researchers to conduct a variety of peatland studies.

The four areas include Sembilang National Park, which UNESCO designated last year as a Biosphere Reserve.

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UK fish and chip shops are selling endangered sharks, DNA tests prove

People buying generic fish such as rock could in fact be eating a range of shark species
Patrick Barkham The Guardian 31 Jan 19;

Fish and chip shops and fishmongers are selling endangered sharks to an unwitting public, according to researchers who used DNA barcoding to identify species on sale.

Most chip shop fish sold under generic names such as huss, rock, flake and rock salmon turned out to be spiny dogfish, a shark species classified as endangered in Europe by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list.

Researchers at the University of Exeter also found fins of shark species unknowingly sold by a British wholesaler included scalloped hammerheads, which are endangered globally, as well as shortfin mako and smalleye hammerhead sharks.

Other species sold in fish and chip shops and fishmongers included starry smooth-hounds, nursehounds and blue sharks.

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