One of the pythons seized from the raided site.
KUCHING: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) enforcement team, in collaboration with the General Operations Force (GOF), continues its crackdown on illegal trade of wildlife.
The corporation, in a statement issued yesterday, said the operation that ran from March 14 to 16 on the wet market in Serian, resulted in the seizure of illegal wildlife meat that included 8.1kg of monitor lizard, 2kg of soft-shelled freshwater turtle, and 6.2kg of python meat. The enforcement personnel also confiscated 13 live pythons.
No individual was apprehended – it is suspected that the culprit(s) had escaped just in time before the raids.
All monitor lizards, soft-shelled freshwater turtles and pythons are protected under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998.
Anyone in possession of any of the protected animals without any licence issued under this Ordinance, is liable to imprisonment for one year and a fine of RM10,000.
Apart from the operation in Serian, raids were also conducted on Pasar Kota Samarahan and Batu Kawa New Township market, where one live turtle and 9kg of deer meat were confiscated, respectively. Further up in Miri, no sale of wildlife was found at Tamu Centre Point, Tamu Lutong and Tamu Emart during similar operations.
“SFC acknowledges that wildlife enforcement is a challenging and arduous task due to large segments of the society viewing the sale or consumption of wildlife meat as ‘nothing wrong’. Therefore, we are on the continuous mode to educate and instil awareness via programmes at wet markets, schools, longhouses and villages,” said SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton.
He extended his gratitude to GOF personnel for assisting in the operation, adding that SFC is continuously seeking the cooperation from law-abiding citizens who have wild animals kept in their possession, to voluntarily surrender the animals to SFC.
Zolkipli also expressed his gratitude the public and also the netizens, for lodging reports and complaints regarding illegal treatment against wild animals all this while.
Various regions of SFC are reachable via hotlines 019-885 9996 / 016-856 5564 (Kuching), 019-819 0140 / 019-889 4474 (Sibu), 019-822 3449 / 019-833 2737 (Bintulu), and 019-822 4566 / 019-829 0994 (Miri).
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