Friday, December 26, 2008

Malaysian Laws on Birds

Was in a bird shop today buying some extra plastic cups for the birds. Normal chit chatting about the birds, economy and goverment ensues. These are difficult times and the topic of economic downturn is on everyones lips. Then came a topic that catches my attention. The owner told me that a customer complained to him that there is somebody in a certain place keeping lots of birds blatantly.
Oh my God, that can only be me :( as the place mentioned clicked hahahaha!

Now, as brief summary of Malaysian law on wildlife is strict to say the least. There are many common birds that are totally protected, some are not mentioned and a small handful that are allowed required a license to keep. The issuance of new licenses have been suspended for some time already. And the only way we can obtain one is to get a previous owner to transfer it to us albeit for a small payment.

Back to the story - the shop owner told him off and ask him to complain to the wildlife department if he is not happy. Now, I am not worried of him complaining as I have ample amount of licenses, maybe a few pieces extra (which presents another problem) but the sad thing to note is why are some people just so nosy. Its not as if I am torturing the birds under my care or something. In fact they are better off than being in some of their previous places (not all, but a majority). A case of sour grape? I can only guess. Which is why now my new ground rules is to avoid bringing people over to my house (hobbyists that is).

Lets consider wildlife conservation, bio-diversity and all that craps. Shouldn't it all start with nurturing a culture that promotes understanding of animals? What better way to understand animals than to keep them happy and healthy in a captive environment and learn how to breed them. I have actually grown to appreciate the many restrictions in Malaysia, in a way it is really keeping in check excesses by hobbyists. However, I would think the wildlife smugglers and exporters are more of a threat to the wildlife than the hobbyists like myself.

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