Thursday, August 11, 2011

Action on Cruelty to Animals - Is it for Real?

Two news today that are worth pondering.

1st. We need more foreign non-governmental organisation (NGO) to speak up before our local enforcement agencies can work. This is how pathetic our custodians for wildlife are. Locals making complaints will not likely be heard unless there are some monetary interest involved. After reading the first article below, I am surprised that the private zoo keepers were playing God! Yes, they are cross-breeding wildlife. Are they trying to follow the hybrid culture from the botanists? Its BOLEHLAND!

2nd. New regulations to keep wildlife. Thumbs up. But in BOLEHLAND, it means more monetary side income for the agencies....because law breakers were seldom punished heavily. A small fine and they carry on with their business....its a truly BOLEHLAND!

Don't you think its time to change this rotten government?


August 11, 2011
Dept warns zoos to shape up

KUALA LUMPUR: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Per­hilitan) is aware of allegations raised by a foreign non-governmental organisation on the cruel treatment of animals under the care of Johor Zoo and Danga World Petting Zoo in Johor.

Its director-general Datuk Abdul Rasid Samsudin said Johor Zoo had been advised to ensure that its animals were better treated and amend its husbandry practices to follow guidelines under the soon-to-be-en­forced Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

He warned that if the two premises failed to change their ways, action would be taken.

Abdul Rasid said the Johor Zoo administrators, namely the state government, had admitted that they lacked the funds to operate the zoo.

British conservation and animal rights NGO Nature Alert director Sean Whyte, in an e-mailed statement to both Perhilitan and the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry, had alleged that a baby elephant named Paloh had been ill-treated at Johor Zoo.

The alleged cruelty received wide publicity in several tabloids in Britain while the zoo management claimed that it had chained up Paloh as training and to make sure that she did not harm the keepers.

Following the furore, however, the management has released Paloh from her shackles.

Whyte made a similar complaint against Danga World Petting Zoo, claiming that a 22-year-old elephant named Aidil was shackled for long periods and kept at a construction site with barely enough shade.

Aidil’s fate had also been highlighted in an earlier Starprobe report.

Whyte claimed that the elephant was also forced to perform tricks, including hitting footballs with a cricket bat, blowing a trumpet and harmonica despite Perhilitan imposing a ban against shows using protected animals like elephants, tigers and sun bears.

“I’m surprised to hear that Danga World is still employing the elephant in its shows.

“We have been monitoring them and our inspectors have not seen this happen,” said Abdul Rasid.

He admitted, however, that since the Perhilitan inspectors were not there every day, they could have missed such shows.

On animals seized from the Saleng Zoo following the Starprobe report, Perhilitan deputy director-general Dr Zaaba Zainol Abidin, who is tasked with overseeing the enforcement division, said it had identified 35 cross-bred tigers among the list of animals.

Cross-breeding of species is against the law, with Dr Zaaba noting that these animals were of no use to the gene pool and not advocated by science or conservationists.

As a result, he said no zoos in the world would want these animals, adding that DNA samples would be taken to confirm cross-breeding.

Abdul Rasid said the department might carry out an exercise to take DNA sampling of other cross-bred sus­pected animals from Saleng Zoo.

Perhilitan had to spend about RM1mil for the raid and upkeep of the animals.

On June 20, its officers raided the privately-run zoo in Pulai, Johor, shutting down its operations and seizing the animals.

Another private zoo highlighted, Lye Huat Garden in Kedah, voluntarily surrendered the animals under its care on July 9 after admitting that it could not fulfil the new Perhilitan regulations .


August 11, 2011
Licences a must soon for all who keep exotic animals

KUALA LUMPUR: All premises housing wildlife, including pet shops, will now have to apply for permits to continue operating under the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin said even individuals keeping wildlife would be required to apply for permits.

“Pet shops have to do so. Currently, all they need is a licence from the local council,” he told The Star.

He said this was one way of monitoring premises such as zoos and pet shops to ensure that they did not deal in illegal trade of wildlife as many, especially shops, had previously been found to sell illegally-obtained wild animals.

The ruling also covers common household pets which are on the endangered species list, including animals such as the star and radiated tortoises and other exotic pets such as imported snakes and reptiles.

Abdul Rasid said the regulations for keeping animals in such premises were expected to be ready by the end of next month.

It was up to the minister to decide how much time should be given for zoos and other establishments to comply with the new regulations, he added.

“We have informed all of them about the new conditions. So far, we have audited 17 zoos and establishments and some have failed to meet the requirements.

“We have advised them of the changes they need to make to comply,” said Abdul Rasid who declined to reveal which zoos and establishments had failed the first audit.

He added that Perhilitan had proposed for a bond to be imposed for the issuance of permits for animals individually and if these were later seized, the bond money would go towards their upkeep.

Abdul Rasid said the department always welcomed help from the public and non-government organisations in monitoring the situati- on.

“To help with this effort, once each premises gets its licence, we will post details of each animal and the permit issued on our website to make it easier for them to be monitored and no question of impropriety may arise,” said Abdul Rasid.

He added that a zoo committee, comprising officials from the ministry and other stakeholders like NGOs, would be formed once the regulations were in place.

However, Sahabat Alam Malaysia president S.M. Mohd Idris said the new ruling would have little effect on smuggling of wildlife in the country.

“There is no assurance that Perhilitan will be able to curb animal smuggling even after imposing the Act.

“It is impossible for them to keep track on all individual owners or premises,” he said.

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