MIRI: A joint raid carried out by four agencies busted an illegal wildlife farm in Melano Bay on the Sematan coastal shores, about 100km from Kuching.
A total of 34 wild animals were rescued in the operation by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), General Operations Force (GOF), Marine Police and Immigration Department in the raid Monday (Nov 4).
SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said on Tuesday (Nov 5) that the surprise raid was carried out swiftly following information received by the GOF from a public tip-off.
"The four agencies sprang into action jointly and managed to locate and raid the illegal wildlife farm that was keeping an assortment of protected wildlife that included rare mammals and birds.
"We questioned the owners of the farm and found they had no licence to keep wildlife.
"We rescued these wild animals and took them to Matang Wildlife Sanctuary where they will be rehabilitated and then released back into the forests.
"The culprits face between RM10,000 to RM50,000 fine and jail of between one to five years upon conviction in court.
"We are serious in wanting to stop wildlife abuse in Sarawak.
"Our efforts are bearing good results as can be seen by the good cooperation with the other enforcement agencies and public help," he said.
Among the animals rescued were a bearcat, slow lorris, parakeets, porcupines and rare birds such as magpie robbins and zebra doves.
SFC is probing if these wild animals were meant for commercial sales and are questioning the farm owner and workers.
Members of the public who have information on wildlife abuse can call the Sarawak Forestry Corporation hotlines.
These SFC hotlines are in Kuching (019-8859996,016-8565564) in Sibu (019-8883561,019-8894474) in Bintulu (019-8223449,019-8332737) and in Miri (018-9799778,019-8290994).
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