Felda Confirms Officer, 2 Settlers Held Over Killing Of Elephant

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has confirmed that an officer and two settlers were arrested by police from the Tawau district police headquarters in Sabah over the killing of an elephant.

Felda said in a statement today that the three were among the six suspects who were detained by the authorities for being allegedly involved in the incident, adding that its management was working closely with police to assist in the investigation.

“Felda’s management has not compromised on any kind of cruelty to animals and will take action if staff and settlers are found guilty in the incident.

“We would like to point out that the act of killing animals is completely against Felda’s Environmental Protection and Conservation Policy which is part of Felda’s 15 Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) policies that are now Felda practices,” the statement said.

It added that the Felda management also implemented standard operating procedures (SOPs) in keeping away wildlife, including elephants, that were common in the Felda area by having electric fences and elephant trenches and if necessary, the relocation of elephants without endangering the wildlife.

“Felda is also actively partnering with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) in providing training and seminars to staff to enhance their skills and business in addressing wildlife threats in plantations.

“We have always complied with all guidelines and laws regarding environmental preservation as a manifestation of Felda’s commitment in ensuring that aspects of plantation management are practised sustainably,” it said.

The statement added that to date,163 Felda schemes had successfully obtained MSPO certification after meeting all aspects of accreditation including compliance with environmental sustainability policies.

On Sept 26, the carcass of a pygmy elephant was found by a river bank in Sungai Udin, Dumpas in Kalabakan, near Tawau.

The elephant was estimated to be aged between 11 and 12, and initial investigation by the Wildlife Department found gunshot injuries on the elephant.