Saturday, February 29

National Forestry Act and Wildlife Conservation Act will impose heavier penalties


KUALA LUMPUR: The law on wildlife conservation needs to impose stern penalties on poachers and wildlife trafficking activities to protect the endangered species, according to the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry,

In this regard, the government will present the Bill to amend the National Forestry Act 1984 (Act 313) and the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) in the parliament by the end of this year.

Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the amendments to the Act were important to tighten the law and to ensure that poachers were given heavy punishment.

“It (the amendment) will focus on imposing heavier penalties for poachers who are caught in the forest without permission and committed poaching offences with longer jail sentences and higher fines,” he told a media conference in conjunction with the #Only200tigersleft petition submission by The Body Shop here yesterday.

The letter is a special petition that gathers 121,058 signatures of support to request the government to deploy 2,000 members of the armed force to patrol the forest of the peninsula to tackle illegal hunting activities including the almost extinct tiger (Panthera tigris).

Commenting further, Xavier said his ministry was still in talks with the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) to realise the intention.

“We had the approval, they (the ATM) agreed in principle, but there are some studies that need to be done first, especially involving costs and budgets (before it could be implemented),” he said.

In addition, he said the Wildlife and National Parks Department has also established a cyber-troopers team to monitor and combat the endangered animal trafficking on the internet.

He said the government also welcomed contributions to the Save Our Malayan Tiger fund from various parties, especially from the private corporate bodies to raise funds to conserve the endangered species. – Bernama