WWF-Malaysia Urges for Public Support to Stop Wildlife Crime
Under the recently-passed Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (WCA 2010), leopard and mouse deer are classified as totally protected species and protected species, respectively. Offences pertaining to totally protected species carry a mandatory jail term and a fine of up to RM500,000 if convicted.
The arrest is indicative of DWNP’s determination to battle against the ever-increasing illegal wildlife trade in Malaysia. Over the last six months, five leopards and one tiger were seized by DWNP. WWF-Malaysia hopes that this arrest would serve as a stern warning and a deterrent to all potential poachers or wildlife traders who illegally hunt and trade wildlife.
“Poaching and illegal wildlife trade have depressed the population densities of large mammals in Malaysia, substantially hampering conservation efforts to protect our precious biodiversity. Many of these magnificent large mammals, leopard and tiger included, serve important roles in maintaining the ecological equilibrium of our ecosystems, without which, our forests would be left impoverished,” said WWF-Malaysia’s Executive Director/CEO, Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
Poaching and illegal wildlife trade in Malaysia are no longer a local problem as they involve more and more international syndicates operating with up-to-date technologies.
“We can only win the battle against these organized crimes by stepping up our concerted efforts with the same magnitude and sophistication as the poachers themselves. In this respect, we will need more boots on the ground to conduct wildlife patrolling around our forest reserves and protected areas, to keep encroachment and poaching under control. Public support and enhanced coordination among various enforcement agencies are equally indispensable in dealing with these wildlife crimes,” Dr Sharma said.
WWF-Malaysia pledges its continued support and commitment to enforcement agencies via strengthened collaboration and information sharing, to ensure that the law is used to its fullest extent in protecting Malaysia’s precious wildlife.
It also called for public support to refrain from buying and consuming wildlife products. “We firmly believe joint initiatives by all concerned groups and relevant authorities would greatly expedite much needed actions that will demonstrate Malaysia’s seriousness about protecting its wildlife,” Dr Sharma added.
- Ends -
For more information:
Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-78033772 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org