I REFER to your report, Furore over butchering, (Sunday Star, Oct 16).
As long as there are people who consume tiger parts as medicine, or eat its meat, wild tigers will continue to be killed.
Tigers removed from the wild because of conflict with humans or rescued from smugglers all end up in zoos. Once removed, tigers have almost no chance of making it back to the wild.
Wildlife poaching and trafficking continue as a collective result of superstitious consumers, greedy poachers, indifferent public, incomplete law, insufficient law enforcement and ignorant judiciary system.
The biggest market for, and manufacture of, tiger products is China. And despite the law, tigers are almost gone from there and the neighbouring Indochinese countries.
Just last month, a tiger poacher was sentenced to seven years jail in Cambodia. In Malaysia, no tiger poacher has ever been penalised to the full extent of the law, which is a RM15,000 fine or a five-year jail term.
The law is meaningless if the poacher gets away with a small fine. When the Protection of Wild Life Act is amended in the near future, the maximum penalty will increase. But it will still be meaningless if it is not used to punish the criminal.
DR KAE KAWANISHI,
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