SFC probing illegal hunting of wildlife

KUCHING: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is currently investigating the illegal hunting of wildlife reported to have taken place in Sarawak.

According to The Star on May 15, Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre, an animal conservation activist group, alleged that the killings of wild animals occurred in the state and were carried out by a Sarawak hunter group during the movement control order (MCO) period on its Facebook page on May 13.

The centre said the hunter group called “Pemburu Malaysia” on Facebook had members from Sarawak and the activities took place in the state.

SFC, in response to the news report, clarified that the hunting also happened in West Malaysia and Sabah.

“After checking   the Facebook page, the members are found to be from all over Malaysia and the page is for   trigger-happy persons to show off their bounties.

“Those activities have influenced the local hunters in Sarawak to start joining the group and literally posted theirs on the page,” Controller of Wild Life Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said in a statement yesterday.

He said   SFC was in the process of verifying the news and the genuine owner of the related Facebook account and urged the member of the public with such information to channel the information directly to SFC.

“There are some processes and procedures that need to be followed in the investigation which takes time to conclude. So, please be patient. Let us do our work first. We will get back to you on the progress,” he said.

He stressed that hunting of wildlife was allowed with a licence in West Malaysia and Sabah but not in Sarawak. In Sarawak, no hunting licence is issued.

“The gun licence issued by respective authority is only for the purpose of crop protection, but was found to be abused by irresponsible people.

“However, hunting for subsistence by the local natives is allowed in Sarawak under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998 as it is their natives’ rights,” he added.

Members of the public who have information on illegal activities are encouraged to report through SFC hotlines – Kuching (019-8859996, 013-8110150), Sibu (019-8883561), Bintulu (019-8223449, 019-8332737), or Miri (019-8224566, 019-8290994).