KOTA BARU: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is offering a RM500 reward for the arrest of poachers and will seek the help of the police and military to launch a hunt for them in forest reserves and national parks.
The ministry’s parliamentary secretary Datuk Sazmi Miah said the cash reward would also be extended to include information leading to the arrest of people who shot protected birds in padi fields.
“The reward is an incentive to encourage villagers to co-operate by giving information to the authorities regarding poaching, which is becoming increasingly serious,” he told reporters after attending a dinner reception here on Saturday.
He said poachers were targeting protected birds and animals like the tiger, elephant and bear.
The poachers, believed to be from a neighbouring country and abetted by locals, were killing the animals for their skins, bones, tusks, claws and meat.
They were also felling and stealing gaharu, a tree that produces a scented wood in high demand by European perfumeries and for use in religious ceremonies.
Sazmi said anyone with information could contact the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) at tel: 09-7441844 in Kelantan where the problem was the most widespread.
Recently, a group of seven suspected poachers and gaharu thieves were arrested in the state. – Bernama