Ban lifted to keep wild birds

Budgerigars (right) and cockatiels come under the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act 2010, which requires owners to get permits.

KOTA BARU - Wild bird fans in Kelantan can keep up to 100 murai batu (white-rumped shama) and 50 kelicap kunyit (oriental white eye) without applying for a permit.

State Wildlife director Rahmat Topani said the new regulation followed the lifting of a temporary ban on catching the two birds and other species by the government.

"As our country is now free from bird flu diseases, the government has decided to cancel the ban on catching wild birds while imposing a quota to keep certain birds.

"The regulation is relaxed for murai batu and kelicap kunyit in Kelantan as there are a big number of enthusiasts for the two bird species.

"From now on, the public can hunt and catch the two birds but if they have more than 100 and 50, respectively, for murai batu and kelicap kunyit, they will have to apply for a licence for each species."

Rahmat said the licences to keep 100 or more murai batu, scientifically known as Copsychus malabaricus, and 50 or more kelicap kunyit (Zosterops palpebrosa), were valid for a year.

He said the limitation was to ensure the two species could be controlled from becoming extinct through excessive hunting.

He said members of the public who were interested in hunting for other protected birds such as burung tiong (hill myna) and serindit (blue-crowned hanging-parrot) must still apply for a licence.

Rahmat said applications for the licence could be made at his department's office at Wisma Persekutuan from Aug 15, and the deadline to do so was Sept 3.

On Aug 1, the Wildlife and National Parks Department lifted the temporary ban on catching wild birds with immediate effect.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in a statement had said the temporary ban had been in force since Feb 18, 2004.

The announcement, however, drew criticism from animal rights activists who said international organisations had shown that Malaysia was a top poaching ground in the illegal bird trade.

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