THERE has been an increase in the number of victims of wild animal attacks receiving compensation from the Welfare Department.
According to the department’s productive welfare division director Azmir Kassim, in 2021, a total of 383 cases received assistance amounting to RM787,000 compared to 303 cases in 2020 receiving aid totalling RM522,600. In 2022, RM365,980 of aid allocation has been disbursed for 128 cases as of March 24.
“In total, RM1,675,580 have been disbursed to 814 victims from 2020 to Mar 24 this year under the Wild Animal Attack Victims Assistance Trust Fund provided by the Welfare Department,” says Azmir.
Victims of wild animal attacks or their next of kin are eligible for the one-off assistance, with RM10,000 being the maximum amount of aid for cases of death.
“Victims or their next of kin are eligible to apply for this assistance, according to the trust fund’s 2022 edition guidelines which is applicable from 15 January 2022.
“In this definition, a victim is a person who suffers injury or death as a result of an attack or incident caused by a wild animal while the victim’s family refers to the victim’s next of kin in the event of death.
“The next of kin includes a husband or wife, a biological child, biological father or mother or legal guardian. They must also be citizens,” explains Azmir.
The maximum amount of assistance used to be RM20,000 for cases of death and coma of 90 days and above but the guidelines were amended and presented to the trust fund’s committee meeting on Nov 2, 2021.
Starting from Jan 15 this year, the payment rate for the death category stands at RM10,000.
Those attacked by a wild animal can fill in a form provided by the Welfare Department to get the compensation.
With the endorsement from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) and the hospital, a victim would receive compensation based on the injuries.