Wildlife Conservation Act being reviewed to ensure survival of zoos, says Natural Resources Minister


Taiping Zoo. -Bernamapic

KUALA LUMPUR: The Wildlife Conservation Act 2020 is being reviewed to find ways on how zoos in the country will become more self-sufficient in the future, says Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.

"For the long term measure, the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry through the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has held consultation sessions with the Malaysian Association of Zoological Park and Aquaria (MAZPA) and zoo operators to review the Wildlife Conservation Act 2020 to develop a new model for zoo operators.

"The aim is to lessen zoo operators dependence on the government and to ensure that their operations will be strengthened and more viable," he said when answering a question raised by Teh Kok Lim (PH-Taiping) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Dec 3).

Teh wanted to know what was being done by the ministry to assist the iconic Taiping Zoo as it is expected to see ticket sales fall by some 95% and loss of about RM600,000 owing to the Covid-19 movement control order.

On short term measures to assist Taiping Zoo, Shamsul said that the ministry had provided RM468,890 to cover cost for food and medication for the animals including paying for sanitisation costs between August and November this year.

"Last month, the ministry also channelled RM1.81mil to the zoo for critical repairs on wildlife pens, to construct a reptile pen and to repair the ticket booth roof," he added.

He said that the zoo is also eligible for the 15% discount on electricity bills for a six-month period.

Shamsul also said that Perhilitan had also loaned a total of 125 wild animals worth RM1.1mil to the zoo since 2004 to help attract more visitors.

"Also a total of RM6.2mil and RM10mil were given to the zoo under the 7th and 8th Malaysia Plan," he added.

On Tuesday (Dec 2), Shamsul was reported to have said that Zoo Negara, which also saw revenue drastically affected by the pandemic, managed to collect donations amounting to RM10.6mil from various parties in the form of financial assistance and food.

The Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) had also launched a fund to help Zoo Negara.

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