Friday, November 23, 2012

Ranching of Swiftlet in towns is not allowed

KUCHING: The state government will prosecute operators of swiftlet farms in urban and sub-urban areas, warned Assistant Minister of Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference at the media centre of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here to explicate questions on birds’ nest ranching raised during the DUN sitting, he said the state government had more than 1,000 cases in hand for prosecution.

“Any ranching of birds’ nest in towns and sub-towns are considered illegal. We have not prosecuted (any of the 1,000 cases) so far because if we want to execute them, we want to make sure we will win (the cases). Nevertheless, we will do the prosecution in time to come.”
Len explained that according to The Wild Life Protection (Edible Birds’ Nests) Rules, 2006, a birds’ nest house must be situated 10km away from any urban and sub-urban settlement and 5km away from the fringe of a town.
For birds’ nest houses located in village areas, they must be at least 2km away from the settlement, he added.

“Offenders would be compounded but the penalty may not be effective. Therefore, we are looking at how we can prosecute some of them who are clearly in violation of the act,” Len stressed.

In the joint news conference attended by Assistant Minister of Resource Planning Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, Assistant Minister for Rural Development Julaihi Narawi and Assistant Minister for Industrial Estate Development Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie, Len urged birds’ nest operators to fully comply with the requirement imposed by the authorities.

Citing the radio frequency identification (RFID) required by the Chinese government, Len wondered why some birds’ nest operators had objected to installing the system which could help trace the source of a birds’ nest product if anything went wrong.

“If they want to exclude those irresponsible operators, the best way is to comply with the requirement of the Chinese government.

“Production of birds’ nest is not only from Sarawak but also from the peninsula and Indonesia. We don’t want our product, which is of good quality, to be grouped with the product which is substandard. As far as Sarawak is concerned, we want to maintain that.”

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