Protected Wildlife for Export Seized

10 March 2007

Enforcement officers from the State Wildlife and National Parks Department had been staking out on the premises of a tannery owner in Jaya Gading, Kuantan, after detecting that monitor lizards and snakes had been illegally exported to China and Hong Kong. The officers finally raided the tannery at 4:30pm yesterday and arrested the owner and another man.

478 clouded monitor lizards, 231 oriental rat snakes and 4 king cobras were found at the scene. The animals are said to be priced between RM150 and RM200 per kilogramme. It is believed that they have been bought from Orang Asli poachers.

The wildlife animals could have been exported and served as exotic food in restaurants over China and Hong Kong.

800 grammes of pangolin bones and scales were also found which were designated for the local traditional medicine market.

Wildlife and National Parks Department in Kuala Lumpur suspect this case could be related to the recent case where 2,400 snakes were smuggled from Penang. The same smuggler could have been supplying the captured wildlife to several buyers.

The two men have been remanded by police and face a number of charges including possession of protected animals and inhumane treatment of animals.

The maximum punishment for the crimes is a maximum fine of RM3,000 and maximum jail term of 3 years.

New Straits Times – Under watch but tannery owner blinded by greed

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