KUCHING: Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has slammed what he called ‘lacklustre enforcement’ against the illegal trade of protected wildlife in the state.
On Tuesday, The Borneo Post reported on its front page that protected animals were being openly sold or cooked for sale at a weekend market in Miri.
“The newspaper report is very clear. I saw and read the original report on social media about the sale of barbecued and fresh meat of protected animals. It shows a couple of things to me.
“The lacklustre enforcement and insufficient resources to enforce reflect the people’s general attitude, understanding and concern for conservation and extinction of animal species,” he said yesterday.
He stressed that the people must be made to understand the importance of conservation and the results of extinction.
“If we did then our awareness campaign is not reaching the target groups, especially rural dwellers who for generations understood that wild animals are fair game – for food and for sale,” he said.
He added that the culture of eating specific animals for medicines or as aphrodisiacs is outdated and harmful to conservation efforts.
“The law is nothing if the enforcement is lacking and awareness is not being inculcated,” he stressed, urging politicians, community leaders and administrators to do their part.
“My ministry through our Wildlife Department is prepared to work together with the Sarawak Forest Department to campaign for awareness and enforcement of the state laws on conservation of wildlife.”