More than 1,000 rifle licences cancelled since 2020 to check poaching - IGP
JERANTUT - A total of 1,010 rifle licences have been cancelled since 2020 as part of efforts to combat illegal hunting, said Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
He said the authorities found that rifles were the most common type of firearms used by poachers.
"For the past few years we have revoked firearms licences and seized these weapons in an effort to check illegal hunting. This year, we have seized firearms in connection with tiger hunting cases in Gua Musang (Kelantan)," he said.
Acryl Sani was speaking at a press conference after chairing the Khazanah Integrated Operations (OBK) meeting, together with Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim and Royal Malaysian Customs Department director-general Datuk Zazuli Johan at Taman Negara here today.
The move to cancel firearms licences to check illegal hunting was announced by then IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador in 2020, who said police would withdraw the permits in stages apart from taking away the approval for hunting when issuing new rifle licences.
Meanwhile, Abdul Kadir said since the launch of OKB in 2019 until 2022, a total of 291 investigation papers on illegal hunting were opened, with the arrest of 477 offenders comprising 353 locals and 124 foreigners, destruction of 1,875 wildlife traps, and seizures totalling RM224.08 million.
This year, 19 investigation papers had been opened, involving 31 offenders including a foreigner and seizures worth RM6.4 million, he said.
"Among the wildlife most commonly involved are tigers, which are in high demand in Vietnam and China. Apart from this, elephants are hunted for their tusks to be sold in neighbouring countries like Thailand while birds like burung murai batu (white-rumped shama) are smuggled to Indonesia.
"Smuggling of wildlife into the country also happened, such as pangolins which were brought in from Indonesia before being sent to Thailand, Vietnam and China," he said.
Abdul Kadir said Perhilitan was also making serious efforts to combat hunting using traps made from wires and cables as such activities could also lead to the extinction of species like bears and deer.
He said the implementation of OBK and establishment of the Special Protected Area Response Team (SPARTA) in 2014 had reduced the incidence of illegal hunting in the country.- BERNAMA