Johor wildlife officers arrest man, seize 23 protected birds after raid on Ulu Tiram house

Johor Perhilitan officers inspect bird cages after a raid on a house in Taman Bestari Indah, Ulu Tiram near Johor Baru June 24, 2021. — Picture courtesy of Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan)
Johor Perhilitan officers inspect bird cages after a raid on a house in Taman Bestari Indah, Ulu Tiram near Johor Baru June 24, 2021. — Picture courtesy of Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan)

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JOHOR BARU, June 25 — The Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) arrested a 47-year-old man and seized a total of 23 protected birds in an enforcement operation at a house in Taman Bestari Indah, Ulu Tiram near here yesterday. 

Its director Salman Saaban said all the birds of various species were found in the custody of the man without permission in the 10.30pm operation. 

He said initial investigations found 11 Long-tailed Parakeets (Bayan Nuri), 10 Hanging Parrots (Bayan Serindit), as well as a Blue-Rumped Parrot (Bayan Puling) and a White-Rumped Shama (Murai Batu). 

“All these bird species are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 while the male suspect did not have any legal documents to keep them. 

“The birds were seized along with one mobile phone for further investigations. The value of the seizure is about RM9,500,” said Salman in a media statement issued here today. 

Salman said Perhilitan officers also quizzed the suspect before a police report was later made on the arrest and seizure at the Ulu Tiram police station. 

“The suspect was released on police bail, while the seized items were taken to the Perhilitan’s Kluang district office for further action. 

“The case is being investigated under Sections 60 and 68 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 for hunting or keeping protected wildlife without a valid permit or licence.

Under Section 60 of the Act, also known as Act 716, a conviction could result in a fine of up to RM50,000, or a maximum imprisonment term of two years, or both. 

While under Section 68 of the same Act, a fine of up to RM100,000, or imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both applies. 

According to a recent report by wildlife trade watchdog Traffic, the confiscation of protected birds, especially songbirds, by Malaysian authorities has been on the rise over the past five years. 

The report said 26,950 birds were confiscated in just 44 incidents that implicated Malaysia from January 2015 to December last year, where 66 per cent of the animals were seized in 2020 alone.

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