Government Should Sharpen Legal Claws To Protect Wildlife

Avatar BCR | December 16, 2009 1 View 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 (Bernama) — As the Year of the Tiger approaches, there
are impassioned calls to the government to sharpen its legal claws for
greater protection of wildlife.

Already, three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called for a
stronger and more comprehensive wildlife law as their campaign to this
effect, nears 18 months.

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and WWF-Malaysia
want the tabling and adoption of amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act
1972, at the next session of Parliament.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, they noted that the legislation which was
meant to protect wildlife against domestic threats like poaching, had failed
to be a deterrent.

Instead, the legislation continued to allow wildlife criminals to escape
justice, it said.

Nevertheless, the statement acknowledged that the government had addressed
part of the problem, with the International Trade in Endangered Species Act
2008 coming into force in a week's time.

"This new law, which governs the import and export of wildlife, is timely.

"However, Malaysia also needs a strong legislation to combat wildlife crime
that occurs inside the country.

"Therefore, amending the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 must be made a
priority, if our wildlife is to stand a chance," MNS executive director Dr
Loh Chi Leong was quoted in the statement.

Meanwhile, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia Acting Director Chris R. Shepherd said,
only powerful tools, such as strong legislation, would enable the
authorities to combat wildlife crimes effectively.

"The Year of the Tiger is approaching and the eyes of the world will soon be
upon us.

"Tabling amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 in Parliament, as
soon as possible, will send a strong signal to the public that Malaysia is
committed to improving protection of tigers and their prey," said Datuk Dr
Dionysius Sharma, chief executive officer of WWF-Malaysia.

The three organisations urged the government not to delay the tabling of the
law any further and hoped that all parties would give it the support it
sorely needed.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

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