KUALA LUMPUR: Amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act (Act 716) will see enhancement enforcement efforts and increased penalties against offenders, said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah. (pix)
He said it would also strengthen the implementation of Wildlife Management Plan under the Environmental Quality Act (Act 127).
He said the Bill is expected to be tabled during Parliament’s current session.
“The amendments reflect the government’s commitment to address wildlife issues. They would cover additional provisions on control over online wildlife trading and promotion, in line with today’s technology, and current issues,“ he said in reply to a question by Che Alias Hamid (PAS-Kemaman).
He said the amendments would also see the inclusion of provisions for handling of wildlife and wildlife services.
He added provisions that are no longer relevant will be abolished.
Shamsul said enforcement efforts would also include deploying military veterans, Orang Asli and police pensioners at various sites known for poaching, especially at hotspots.
The amendments will see the inclusion of provisions for enforcement agencies to curb trading and promotion of wildlife; a specific provision to address wildlife services; and increasing penalties for offences under the Act.
Under the amended Act, the maximum jail term will be increased to 15 years; and the maximum fine raised from RM500,000 to RM1 million.
It will also allow the department’s enforcement officers to prosecute cases in courts.