KUCHING: WWF-Malaysia is working with the courts in Sarawak to come up with sentencing guidelines for wildlife crime.
The intention is to assist in the making of fair and just decisions in relation to wildlife crimes, said its Sarawak conservation head, Jason Hon.
He said that sentencing guidelines for wildlife crime had already been developed in Sabah and were also used in countries such as Britain.
He said the proposed guidelines for Sarawak were now in an “exploratory phase” and would be discussed in detail soon.
“We’re meeting the judges next week, ” Hon explained.
“Ultimately the guidelines will be a document produced by the courts.
“Our role is to facilitate and help with the drafting of the document, ” he added.
Hon said it was timely for the state’s Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998 to be reviewed and updated.
For instance, he said social media sites like Facebook and Instagram now play a big role in illegal wildlife sales.
“It’s time we reviewed the law to take into consideration the new developments and tools being used to commit wildlife crime, ” he said.
In addition, he said the penalties should be heavier to deter repeat offences.
“While we work on the sentencing guidelines, this can be done in parallel so that we can have a strong set of laws to deter wildlife crime, ” Hon said.