MALACCA: Did you know that a permit is needed to transport snakes and tortoises?
Three men who did not have the necessary documents were detained yesterday when they produced a fake receipt for the purchase of 238 pythons and a tortoise which they were transporting in their lorry.
State Wildlife and National Park Department officers stopped the lorry in Ayer Keroh at 10am following a tip-off and found the snakes which were kept three or four to a bag.
“Six pythons were found dead. Pythons are not endangered species and you can still transport and trade them, provided you have the proper documents to possess them,” said state director Abd Rahim Othman.
“While the tortoise is also not an endangered animal, it is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” he added.
CITES ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild.
The offence under Section 68 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 carries a fine of RM3,000 or three years' jail or both.
Investigations showed that the three men in the lorry from Penang had gone to Rompin in Pahang to buy the snakes on Wednesday.
They then drove to Malacca, where it was believed that they picked up more snakes in Alor Gajah.
Abd Rahim said the snakes would most likely have ended up as leather products, as there was a factory to process such goods in Penang.
He said the animals would either be released into the wild in measured numbers or auctioned off to licensed traders.
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