Is PERHILITAN enforcing law or giving excuses?
The recent probe on notorious Malaysian zoos by an English daily newspaper shows the level of cruelty and neglect of wild animals in some of the private zoos. Notorious zoos in particular Dayang bay zoo and Saleng zoo have been under the watchful eyes of animal activist for some time. PERHILITAN have been alerted on a number of occasions but these zoos continue to operate. Why PERHILITAN is not taking proactive actions to save the wild animals from these private zoos whose primary objective is make profit.
Reports and pictures showing wild animals like lions and tigers kept in cages, elephants chained and neglected orang Utan separated from their kith and kin whether temporary or permanent are inhuman and gross animal cruelty. These zoo operators are giving silly and stupid excuses after excuses and PERHILITAN is dragging its feet in enforcing laws on them. PERHILITAN should be headed by animal conversationalist to end the animal cruelty in Malaysian zoos.
Animal shows are banned and not many people visit zoos. How do these zoos make profit to cater and provide food for these wild animals? PERHILITAN seems indifferent to their dubious nature of business and failed to check the accounts and ascertain that these animals are not kept for poaching and illegal trading purpose. A fine of RM200 or 6 months jail is small feat to these operators. Many well managed zoos are there whose best practices can be emulated here. PERHILITAN must show that it has the will and guts to enforce the law.
PERPILITAN don’t seem to have zoo animal care standards and guidelines for zoo operators to follow? If they have why is this violation not acted upon? Malaysia has about 39 zoos. Are these figures justifiable? Do PERHILITAN have data bases like origin, age, health conditions on the animals kept captive by zoos in Malaysia? Singapore has the database on every tree in the island. They monitor the trees through GPS. Why can’t emulate this practice to monitor the welfare on zoo animals? PERHILITAN did not show its social responsibilities in caring for these animals. The minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas has clearly failed to direct his ministry to act against public complains. He should resign if he really cares about animal welfare to make way for others who can do the job.
There is an urgent need for PERHILITAN to take on board committed animal conservationists in monitoring and formulating rules and regulations for Malaysian zoos to follow. Without any further excuse PERHILITAN must enforce the existing laws on notorious zoos. It is time that PERHILITAN start gathering wildlife crime database to eliminate poaching and illegal wildlife trades from and to Malaysia.
Senator S. Ramakrishnan