PETALING JAYA: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has refuted claims from unhappy zoo and animal park operators that its recent spate of raids and animal seizures were “too fast and too drastic”.
It fired back in a statement yesterday, saying some zoo operators had failed to rectify their shortcomings despite being told to do so during Perhilitan's pre-zoo audit.
This included wildlife care, safety and record-keeping of every animal under their care.
“Most of the improvements can be done immediately. However, many of our comments are not acted upon accordingly,” it said.
It added that there was nothing new about its move to seize improperly-managed wildlife in zoos and parks.
Perhilitan reminded zoo and park operators to “buck up” in managing their wildlife. “We are here to safeguard the wildlife and not to wait and see. The main purpose of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 is to monitor how zoos in Malaysia are managed and operated,” it said.
According to its statistics, 192 animals were seized this year from various premises, including zoos, for failure to comply with the conditions set for keeping wildlife.
The Star reported on Monday that the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria had criticised the department for having no clear communication on the new Act or its guidelines.
Its president Kevin Lazarus had said Perhilitan should provide a written minimum standard for operators to comply with on animal welfare standards.
In response, Perhilitan insisted it had provided clear guidance to zoo operators since early last year.