Snares cause havoc to wildlife

AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Poachers who instal snares will face more severe penalties when the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) is reviewed, says Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.

According to him, Act 716 would be amended to ensure that more severe penalties were imposed on poachers who use snares to kill or capture wildlife for profit.

“This is a proposal to improve the legal provisions and to increase and enforce the punishments for the offenders involved.

“The use of snares is a serious crime. They not only cause deaths of wildlife but also permanently disable them,” he told Bernama.

Kadir said that from January to July this year, 26 wildlife species, such as tapir, sun bear, serow, sambar deer and deer (kijang) were found dead after being caught in snares.

He said as many as 653 wire and nylon snares and bird nets were destroyed since the beginning of the year.

The department has identified 79 forest sites in the country as the poachers’ area of focus.

At present, those convicted of using snares can be fined between RM50,000 and RM100,000 and imprisoned for two years.

Kadir said the punishments were seen as incomparable with the deaths of wildlife that were threatened by extinction.

“We recommend that amendments to this act impose a longer jail term and a heavier penalty,” he said.

However, the draft proposal to amend the act was still at the proposal level and would be presented to Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar to be discussed before it is brought to Parliament.