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Malaysia torches 2.8 tonnes of African pangolin scales


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 6 Dec 2018

Malaysian authorities incinerated 2.8 tonnes of seized pangolin scales as part of a government campaign against illegal wildlife smuggling. -  AFP

Malaysian authorities incinerated 2.8 tonnes of seized pangolin scales as part of a government campaign against illegal wildlife smuggling. - AFP

PORT DICKSON (AFP): Malaysia on Thursday (Dec 6) torched nearly three tonnes of seized scales of endangered pangolins worth US$9mil (RM37.4mil) in a bid to deter illegal wildlife trafficking from Africa.

The country is battling to clamp down on rife trafficking through its borders of the ant-eating mammals, whose scales are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine.

”Such a huge seizure and torching of it is definitely a blow to smuggling syndicates,” Wildlife and National Parks Department director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim told AFP.

Some 3,000 pangolins would have been killed to obtain the 2.8 tonnes (2,800kg) of scales, Abdul Kadir estimated.

The scales were confiscated by customs officials at Malaysia’s Port Klang between May and September 2017.

The animal parts arrived in three different shipments from Ghana and Cameroon, and had false local addresses, officials said.

”Forensic examination of the scales showed that it is from the African species,” said Abdul Kadir. 

The scales were incinerated at a private waste disposal plant in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan.

Seized pangolin scales are usually meant for foreign markets including China and Vietnam, where raw pangolin scales are sold for large profits in traditional Chinese medicine.

Last year, Malaysia torched eight tonnes of pangolin scales, Abdul Kadir said, adding that wild pangolins in Malaysia have become a rare sight due to rampant hunting and deforestation.

Pangolins are also heavily poached for their meat which is considered a delicacy while products obtained from the animal are thought to increase blood circulation and lactation. - AFP

Malaysia , pangolins , scales

   

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