Record seizures of pangolin scales: Smugglers ‘exploiting Singapore’s efficient ports’

NEO CHAI CHIN Today Online 10 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — Two massive seizures here of pangolin scales in less than a week show that transnational organised networks are exploiting Singapore’s efficient ports, said wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic on Wednesday (April 10).

Commending the seizure of the shipments, Traffic senior communications officer Elizabeth John said the Singapore authorities need to work with the international community to uncover the criminals behind them.

“This should be the next line of inquiry for investigators,” said Ms John, who is based in Malaysia. “From previous cases, it is clearly the result of organised networks.”

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Video of pigeon culling in Hougang ‘an outright case of cruelty’: Acres

SHERLYN SEAH Today Online 10 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — Animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) has filed a report with the National Parks Board (NParks) requesting that the agency investigate what it claims to be the improper handling of birds.

A video posted on Acres’ Facebook page on Tuesday (April 9) showed workers outside Hougang MRT station feeding poison to pigeons to sedate them, before bagging the birds in trash bags and disposing of them.

The birds are seen flapping around weakly on the ground, with some still alive and moving in the trash bags.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, Acres said that this was “an outright case of cruelty”, noting that culling is an “alarming” islandwide concern not limited to Hougang and has been in practice for over a decade.

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Malaysia: Tasik Chini gazetted as permanent forest reserve

Bernama New Straits Times 10 Apr 19;

PEKAN: The Pahang state government has gazetted an area of 4,900 hectares in Tasik Chini as a permanent forest reserve, compatible with its site as a biosphere reserve area as previously declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2009.

Pahang State Forestry Department director Datuk Dr Mohd Hizamri Mohd Yasin said the matter was decided at the State Government Council Meeting on March 6 and as such the area would be protected from any other land use activities including mining and logging.

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Indonesia: Tourists check out early from Batam resorts after oil found on beaches

Fadli The Jakarta Post 10 Apr 19;

Beaches near Nongsa resorts in Batam, Riau Islands, have been covered with a thick film of stinky, black oil since Tuesday, forcing foreign tourists staying at the resorts along the beaches to check out earlier than planned or cancel their stay.

Similar incidents occurred three times in 2018, resort management company PT Citramas Group spokesperson Nara Dewa told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The resorts affected by the black oil are Nongsa Point Marina, Nongsa Village and Turi Beach Resort.

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