By Matthew T. Umpang
Exotic food lovers who cherish eating turtle eggs are reminded by the state Forest Department that such practice is illegal in the country.
According to Sarawak Forest Department acting director Sapuan Ahmad, it is important that the public be educated, if not reminded, on the matter.
“Turtles are a totally protected species in this country. Those who are caught selling or buying their eggs will be fined RM50,000 or face a maximum five years’ jail sentence,” he added.
Apart from local traders, he too warned foreign traders not to sell such items here.
During checks conducted at various locations at the country’s borders, the department too discovered that most turtle eggs sold here are from Indonesia.
“We have reasons to believe that they are from Indonesia due to the size of the (turtle) eggs, which are much smaller compared to the local eggs,” said Sapuan.
Appealing for cooperation from the public and various government agencies, he hopes that such activities will be curbed soon.
“They (the culprits) can be quite elusive sometimes as they seem to sense our presence every time we perform our checks. This can only stopped if everybody works hand in hand to stop this crime,” he noted.
Despite the ban on turtle eggs, he continued that not all protected wildlife species and specimens are prohibited to be traded. More....