Big Law for Small Elephants

January 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Good news for nature lovers, and about time, too!

It was recently reported that those who kill Borneo elephants will now face a mandatory jail term as part of Sabah’s efforts to upgrade its conservation of the animal, as according to State Tourism, Culture and En­­vironment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, the elephant has been classified as a totally protected species under its wildlife laws.

Elephants may be big, but that does not make them immune to the cruelties of illegal hunters and poachers

This law shows emphasis on wildlife protection, and that Malaysia is serious about dealing with animal trafficking, including smuggling of ivory. This point was further highlighted following three major busts involving ivory worth millions in ivory at various ports in Malaysia.

It is rather cruel to kill an elephant only to get its tusks just so some people can keep it on display and show it off to others. How would you like it if – for whatever reason – someone killed you just to get your teeth?

Read the full article below:
Those who kill Borneo elephants will now face a mandatory jail term as part of Sabah’s efforts to upgrade its conservation of the animal.

State Tourism, Culture and En­­vironment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the elephant was classified as a totally protected species under its wildlife laws.

“This means that as far as our elephants are concerned, if you kill, you go to jail,” he said when closing a wildlife conference here yesterday.

The conference was jointly organised by the state’s Wildlife Depart­ment and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

Under the totally protected classification, those convicted of killing the animals will be liable for a mandatory jail term of up to five years.

Previously, those convicted of killing these animals, which were listed only as protected, were liable to a fine of up to RM30,000 or three years in default or both.

Masidi said the state was also finalising its draft of a request to the Federal Government to amend the Fisheries Act to prohibit the hunting of sharks in Malaysian waters.

“We hope that with such changes, we won’t see the sale of shark’s fin in this country soon,” he added.

On concerns that the state’s agricultural sector was impacting the environment, Masidi said: “We know we are blessed with an abundance of natural assets and we are determined to protect them.

“But Sabah, too, has its peculiarities and among these is that we are dependent on agriculture to eradicate poverty.

“So, you can criticise us but please see our side of the story, too.”

Meanwhile, Sabah Wildlife De­­partment director Laurentius Ambu said among the consensus reached at the conference, which was atten­ded by conservationists and oil palm industry representatives, was the need to push zero tolerance for wildlife killing.

“If companies would make it clear to their staff that they would be fired if they were found to be killing wildlife illegally, this could be a highly effective tool,” said Laurentius, adding that such an approach should be taken for protected species.

He said participants also highlighted the need for the maintenance of forest corridors in plantations.

“If such corridors no longer exist, these should be re-established wherever possible. It is, however, recognised that corridor establishment is expensive and challenging, and needs to be done together with other management tools,” he added.

Source: The Star

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