ProFauna Demands for the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Sumatera to Stop

Released on: September 18, 2008, 1:55 am

Press Release Author: ProFauna Indonesia

Industry: Non Profit

Press Release Summary: The illegal wildlife trade is rampant in Sumatera Island;
Lampung, Palembang, Bengkulu, Riau, Medan, and Aceh regions, according to a recent
investigation conducted by ProFauna Indonesia in collaboration with the
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2007.

Press Release Body: The illegal wildlife trade is rampant in Sumatera Island;
Lampung, Palembang, Bengkulu, Riau, Medan, and Aceh regions, according to a recent
investigation conducted by ProFauna Indonesia in collaboration with the
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2007.

Thousands of wild animals are caught from the wild in the Island to supply the
domestic and international illegal wildlife trade. Unrestricted international trade
in wildlife and wildlife products threatens many species or their populations with
endangerment and extinction said Jorge Luis Basave IFAWs Asia Pacific Wildlife
Campaigns Officer.

The alarming high level wildlife trade in Sumatra prompted ProFauna Indonesias
activists to stage a demonstration called "Last Killing on 17 September 2008 in
front of the Forestry Ministry Office in Jakarta. In their campaign, ProFauna urges
the government to curb and stop the illegal wildlife trade in Sumatra. The wildlife
trade has become a serious threat to wildlife conservation. It has been proven that
the illegal industry is pushing many species death rates beyond sustainable levels.
The investigation also uncovered the cruelty and crime of the illegal wildlife
trade. Thousands of animals die inhumanely due to brutal poaching methods, poor
transportation, bad handling and an incorrect diet.

Illegal wildlife trade in Sumatra usually takes place in a discreet manner; however,
in some locations like Bintang animal market in Medan, North Sumatera, and 16 Ilir
animal market in Palembang, South Sumatera, it happens openly. Many protected
species like the slow loris, agile gibbon, mitered-leaf monkey, langur, eagle,
sulphur-crested Cockatoo, siamang, sun bear, etc., are sold in these two markets.
Many are smuggled to Jakarta by plane to supply the domestic markets and to
Singapore and Malaysia through Belawan and Tanjung Balai ports.

In just half a year, at least 30 tones of pangolin meat, otherwise known as scaly
ant eater, are smuggled from Sumatera. The central hub is in Palembang, South
Sumatera. The vast majority of this bush meat ends up in Malaysia. While a kilogram
of pangolin meat is about 10 USD in Palembang, it costs around 200 USD per kilo in
Malaysia. On 30 July 2008, the Indonesian police have successfully raided illegal
traders and confiscated 8.3 tonnes pangolin meat in the city.

Sumatera is also the center of primate suppliers to pet markets in Java Island.
Every year, roughly 15,000 primates from Sumatera are smuggled to animal markets in
Jakarta and other markets in Java. The primate species primarily traded are the
long-tailed monkey, pig-tailed monkey, slow loris, mitered-leaf monkey, langur,
agile gibbon, and siamang. The major suppliers are located in Lubuk Linggau and
Prabumulih regions in South Sumatera.

According to the 1990 wildlife law regarding Natural Resources and Ecosystem
Conservations, trading in protected species is prohibited. Offenders will receive up
to a 5 year jail sentence and up to IDR 100 millions (US$ 11,000) in fine. Asep R.
Purnama, ProFaunas campaigns officer, stated,The Forestry Ministry and the Police
must conduct operation to curb the rampant wildlife trade in Sumatera. To tackle the
illegal trade, the confiscation operation should be followed by law enforcement.
Illegal wildlife trade is a cruel crime that must not go unpunished.

Editors notes:

For further information please contact Butet A Sitohang, International
Communication Officer, mobile: +6281333899741 or email: international@profauna.org

ProFauna Indonesia is an active and dynamic wildlife protection
organization established in 1994. With the support of its members all over the
country, ProFauna saves wildlife through campaign, education, investigation, and
animal rescue.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). Founded in 1969, IFAW
works around the globe to protect animals and habitats promoting practical solutions
for animals and people. To learn how you can help, please visit www.ifaw.org

Web Site: http://www.profauna.org

Contact Details: Butet A. Sitohang
International Communication Officer
ProFauna Indonesia
Jl. Raya Candi II/ 179 Malang 65146 Indonesia
email:international@profauna.org
mobile: +6281333899741
phone: +62341570033
fax: +62341569506

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