KUALA LUMPUR: Poachers who install and own snares will face more severe penalties when the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 [Act 716] is reviewed, says Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director general Datuk 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 that can cause injuries and deaths of various species of wildlife while some were permanently disabled,” he said when met recently by Bernama.
At present, individuals convicted of using snares could be fined not less than RM50,000 and not more than RM100,000 and imprisoned not exceeding two years.
Kadir said the punishments were seen as not comparable with the deaths and fates of wildlife that was increasingly threatened by extinction due to the greed of the hunters.
“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 the Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Dr Xavier Jayakumar to be discussed before it is proposed in Parliament.
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 while 79 forest sites in the country were identified as the poachers’ area of focus. — BERNAMA