Department of Wildlife and National Parks Seizes Tigers, Lions, Bears and Other Abused Animals Under New Law
For Immediate Release:
28 July 2011
Kuala Lumpur -- Under the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) has seized more than 60 animals from the private Saleng Zoo in Johor. According to news reports, the seized animals included Siberian tigers, lions, panthers, wild boars, crocodiles, honey bears, Asian leopard cats, porcupines and birds. DWNP officials found that there was no veterinarian on hand to ensure the animals' well-being, that enclosures were small and filthy and that the zoo lacked the required licences to hold the animals. The zoo also has a long history of violating wildlife protection laws. For cracking down on the cruel and illegal confinement of wildlife at the Saleng Zoo, the DWNP will receive a Humane Law Enforcement Award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia.
"We commend the government giving the new wildlife protection law some teeth, and we hope the law will be applied aggressively throughout Malaysia", says PETA Asia Vice President Jason Baker. "This action puts abusive zoos on notice that denying veterinary care to animals and forcing them to live in cramped, squalid conditions will not be tolerated -- the free ride is over."
Even the biggest zoo is tiny compared to the vastness of the wild. Visitors don't see normal animal behaviour in zoos because the animals' natural needs -- space, exercise, privacy and mental stimulation -- aren't met. Many animals in the wild spend their entire lives with their families. But animals in zoos are separated from their families as babies, and they're sentenced to lives of boredom, crippling loneliness and even abuse. This can lead to self-mutilation and other types of abnormal and self-destructive behaviour known as "zoochosis". An Oxford University study published in the journal Nature found that wide-ranging carnivores such as big cats "show the most evidence of stress and/or psychological dysfunction in captivity".
The DWNP will receive a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation.
An electronic copy of the certificate is available on request. For more information, please visit PETAAsiaPacific.com.