KUCHING, April 13: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) gives assurance that it is working together with various enforcement agencies to stop transboundary and illicit international trafficking of endangered wildlife species in the state.
SFC in a statement today disclosed that anyone caught hunting or trading in any bear or animal parts, for whatever reason, will be severely punished under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998.
“At a time like this, when our frontline healthcare experts and so many other sectors are doing everything they can to contain and treat patients, poaching bears is not a solution.
“Sarawak at this moment is putting tight border controls, and this may control transboundary poaching and illicit international trafficking of endangered species, including parts, along its border areas. With this lockdown period, enforcement is NOT on lockdown,” it said.
The statement added that SFC is currently working with the Residents’ and District Offices, local council authorities, Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Immigration Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, port authorities, Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and other enforcement agencies to ensure poachers and smugglers are jailed.
SFC issued this statement after an online news article reported that Beijing has approved the use of bear bile to treat Covid-19, increasing concerns that the demand for bear bile might increase.
Meanwhile, the statement also noted that SFC had been actively promoting public awareness on wildlife conservation through its Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) programme before the Movement Control Order (MCO) and will continue this programme after the MCO period is lifted.
SFC is conducting the programme via social media and mainstream media during the implementation of the MCO, and staff from regional offices, site offices and its Swift Wildlife Action Team (SWAT) have enhanced their patrols in various markets throughout Sarawak to prevent any possible poaching activities. Enforcement officers are on standby and ready to investigate the information they receive.
“Regional Enforcement Officers together with more than 300 Honorary Wildlife Rangers all over Sarawak are now cooperating and will alert the team if such activities are to be found.
“Those with information on illegal wildlife trade activities are urged to call the SFC hotlines at 016-8565564/019-8859996 (Kuching), 019-8883561 (Sibu), 019-8223449/019-8332737 (Bintulu) and 019-8290994/018-9799778 (Miri),” the statement disclosed. — DayakDaily