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SOS Rhino : In the News : Jail & fine for trading wild animals

Jail & fine for trading wild animals

  Borneo Bulletin Online

June 15, 2005

By Azlan Othman

A penalty of $2,000 and one-year imprisonment await any offenders who hunt, kill, catch, collect, disturb or possess nests, eggs, trophies such as horns, heads, teeth, tusks, nails, fur, skin or any parts of wild animals that are protected in Brunei Darussalam, the Museums Department said.

Thirty-four wild animal species have been listed in the Wild Animal Act that was approved in 1978 (amended in 1984) and that include 23 bird species, seven mammals and four reptiles.

Included in the list are long-nosed monkey/proboscis monkey, orang utan, rhinoceros, clouded leopard, helmeted hornbill, dugong, green (or edible) turtle, hawksbill turtle and leatherback turtle. All these species are categorised in Appendix I of the Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

Appendix I contains species that are threatened with extinction and or may be affected by international trade. These species are prohibited from being traded internationally for commercial purposes (eg pet trade, food industry, jewellery or ornament making), but some trade is allowed for non-commercial purposes (eg to go to educational facilities, or for scientific purposes).

Recently, officials from the department and the police carried out spot checks at three markets in Tutong, Rimba Horticulture centre and Kianggeh to ensure that no wild animals, which are protected under the act, are sold to the public. The operations were emphasised as campaigns.

Asked about animals that were found to have been traded during the recent operation, an official from the Museums Department said 'Helang Laut' or white-bellied sea eagle was sold for $250.

"Many vendors are not aware that they sell protected species. We keep track and record of these people who sell protected animals," the official said yesterday.

And today, officials from the department will release two species of animals protected under the act into the wild in Tasek Merimbun in the Tutong District.

The animals are 'Kukang', which was trapped in the net and donated by a concerned member of the public, and 'Tempelilih', which was saved from being sold at the market by a vendor for $50.

The department has advised the public to report to the Museums Department at the 7th floor of the Arts and Handicrafts Training Centre in person or by contacting 2222732 should they come across anyone violating the Wild Animal Protection Act.

Meanwhile, animals that are listed under Appendix II include Tempelilih (tarsier), Ukang/ Rengkang (slow loris), Helang Laut (white-bellied sea eagle), Helang (grey-headed fishing eagle), Keruai (great Argus pheasant), Merak (Malaysian peacock pheasant), Sentuku (white-crested hornbill), Kekalau (bushy crested hornbill).

Others include Alau buloh/Kejakoh (wrinkled hornbill), Alau Sangoh/Undan (wreathed hornbill), Kenyalang/Sangang/Loklang (rhinoceros hornbill), Alau Pedada/Bruie (pied hornbill), Alau Babi (black hornbill).

Appendix II includes species that although not necessarily threatened with extinction may become so unless trade is regulated.

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