JOHOR BARU: Hungry zoo animals became beneficiaries of agriculture produce that were about to be destroyed by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis).
A department under the Agriculture Ministry, Maqis is the authority responsible for regulating the import and export of agricultural goods, and such goods can be seized if importers infringe Section 11,13,14, and/or 15 of the Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011.
According to Johor Maqis director, Nur Afifah A. Rahman, the agency’s standard operating procedure allows such seized products to be used as animal feed.
“Items seized by Maqis will usually be buried or burned. In this case, turning them into food for animals reduces wastage as the produce can be used to ensure these animals do not go hungry, ” she said.
Recently, Maqis donated nearly five tonnes of seized produce, consisting of 4,290kg of cabbages, 90kg of beef, 160kg of both dried and frozen fish, 69kg of coffee beans, 6kg of dairy products and 2kg of frozen insects – to the Melaka Zoo as well as the A’Famosa Safari Wonderland.
Afifah said Maqis initially wanted to give the seized items to the Johor Zoo, but the zoo declined as they had sufficient funds to feed their animals.
The Johor Zoo then suggested giving the produce to zoos in Melaka instead.
Together with assistance from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan), the agricultural produce worth more than RM9,000 was transported to Melaka.
It was then unloaded at the park, which thanked Maqis for the contribution.
“It is a much appreciated gesture. All our parks are closed but Maqis has ensured that our animals remain fed, ” it said.
In another statement, the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (Mazpa) is also appealing for all forms of assistance, including financial help.
Representing 22 public and private zoos in the country, the association said they were facing uncertain times following the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) since March 18.
Established in 1996, Mazpa supports in-situ wildlife management alongside promoting tourism in the country.
For more details, visit www.mazpa.org.my or call 019-481 5351.
For those who want to donate directly to Zoo Negara, kindly visit its Facebook page or send an enquiry through
Facebook Messenger. Alternatively, visit www.zoonegaramalaysia.my.
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