Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Malaysia Finally Passes Laws Outlawing the Trade in Endangered Species

Although CITES outlaws the international trade in endangered species, local Malaysian law had no such prohibition. That has now changed.

Thinking about buying the pretty star tortoise for a pet? Think again. Under newly passed laws, you face a fine of up to RM100,000 for having one of those reptiles. Same goes for other exotic pets such as the Madagascar radiated tortoise, African leopard tortoise, pig-nosed turtle, Madagascar tomato frog, South American poison arrow frog and Indonesian yellow-crested cockatoo.

Trade in these animals are either barred or regulated by range countries and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites, an international treaty to stop illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade) but they still end up in local pet stores and zoos – reason being, wildlife authority Perhilitan cannot act against traders because these species are not protected under local laws, namely the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 (PWA).

This has now changed with Parliament passing the International Trade in Endangered Species Bill 2007 last December. The long-awaited Bill promises to stem unbridled sale of wildlife as it specifies the wildlife allowed for trade and imposes licensing requirements. It essentially enables Malaysia to fulfil Cites obligations and enforce Cites wildlife trade rules.

It's taking a long time for some countries, but it's good to see that they are finally doing things like this.

Photo by Yeowatzup

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