Posts Tagged ‘wildlife trade’

From The Sun (Malaysia)

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The Lizard King in Malaysia

(Feb 11, 2009), The Sun, Malaysia

BRYAN CHRISTY, author of The Lizard King – The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers, was in the region to promote his book recently. Christy spent nearly four years researching his book, focusing on a true story of America’s biggest reptile smuggler, Mike Van Nostrand, and Chip Bepler, the federal agent, who built a case against Van Nostrand, in the face of many challenges.

The book has made people take notice of wildlife trade in Malaysia, and that it is an issue which should be addressed effectively by the government and civil society.

The issue of illegal wildlife trade has been recognised by the government as something of a concern. Malaysia became a member of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, in 1978. However, the outdated Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 is still used in Peninsular Malaysia to protect wildlife from being illegally traded. The Act has inadequate provisions to penalise illegal traders, including very low penalties, which many consider as a slap on the wrist for the offender trading illegally in valuable and endangered species.

Many NGOs have pushed for the review and changes to the Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 since 1998 to (more…)