MIRI: More then 50 endangered or exotic animals have been seized from seven pet shops here during raids by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).
The premises were a front for the illegal wildlife trade. The seized animals included long-tailed macaques, hill mynah, rare parrots and exotic Indian star tortoises.
The raids followed complaints from the local community and expatriates that many pet shops in Miri were selling animals in cruel, cramped conditions.
“Acting on the information, we inspected and raided seven pet shops in Miri from July 15 to 18 and seized the animals,” SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton told a press conference yesterday.
He said commercial transactions and illegal possession of exotic wildlife contravened the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998.
“They can be fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000 and jailed between one and five years.”
It is learnt that among those who frequently buy these animals are foreigners, who smuggle them to a neighbouring country, where they fetch a high price and are considered prized trophies by the rich.
Members of the public who have information about wildlife abuse are urged to call the SFC hotlines immediately.
Kuching SFC hotlines are 019-885 9996; Sibu 019-819 0140; Bintulu 019-822 3449; Miri 019-822 4566 and 019-829 0994.