KUALA LUMPUR: The Wildlife Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2021 is more responsive to current needs in combating crimes against wildlife, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said.
The bill was tabled by Takiyudin for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today and is the first time amendments have been made to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).
He said the bill is aimed at improving the existing law which he added failed to reduce the crime rate against wildlife.
“This approach not only aims to protect wildlife but also to protect its habitat.
“… I am confident this bill will be able to ensure wildlife conservation, through control, management and enforcement, can be implemented more efficiently and effectively to protect and conserve wildlife in the country,” he said.
Among the amendments include the scope of wildlife protection with technological developments and current issues given that currently, there is no provision that allows action against individuals who advertise the sale of wildlife online.
He said this loophole had been a motivating factor for poachers to exploit wildlife and sell directly through social media and e-commerce platforms to buyers.
Besides this, the amendments, among others, proposes to increase the maximum fine for serious offences such as cases involving illegal hunting from RM500,000 to RM1 million and for the maximum prison sentence to be increased from 10 years to 15 years.