Putting more bite into protecting our wildlife
New Straits Times, 13 September 2010
PUTRAJAYA: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is stepping up efforts to protect endangered animals.
It has set up an internal audit committee (to improve the credibility of the audit committee, perhaps the Minister wants to consider excluding Perhilitan from the committee) to look into the standard operating procedure involving the enforcement of laws and regulations on poaching.
Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the committee would also see the involvement of non- governmental organizations (good… get TRAFFIC to sit in the committee. This will open up many blind spots and improve transparency and the credibility of the committee)
"The objective is to review the enforcement of standard operating procedure.
"We will try to find out how to improve enforcement so that loopholes can be tightened."
Douglas said the ministry would rectify weaknesses in enforcement through the findings of the committee.
"We want to see where the weaknesses are. Whether they are internal, procedural, or legal." (please also find out why Perhilitan continued giving licences to Anson Wong despite his atrocious record)
He said the other measures being taken to curb poaching included identifying areas where such activities were rampant (by now, Perhilitan should already know which are the areas where poaching is rampant – if they still don’t know, they have not been doing their work)
He said the enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 later in the year, which provides for stiffer penalties, would drive home the point that the country took poaching seriously.
The law, among other things, provides for a fine of up to RM100,000, or a jail term of up to five years, or both, for hunting or keeping female protected wildlife without a licence, or hunting or keeping protected young wildlife without a licence.
It also provides for a fine of up to RM50,000, or a jail term of up to two years, or both, on anyone who hunts or keeps protected wildlife without a licence, or keeps any part of such an animal illegally.
Monyet King also says
It would substantially improve the credibility of wildlife enforcement if the Ministry can be more transparent – such as (a) providing regular update on the status of investigation and prosecution, (b) making public the procedures, criteria and recipients of the licences (c) making public the names of the owners of private zoos and the number of wild animals in captivity and (d) shutting down private zoos that have repeatedly violated regulations.
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