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Police Raid Illegal Bird & Pet Market

Large Number of Protected Species Confiscated. Police Promise to Pursue Dealers and Purchasers.

(7/26/2001) On Wednesday, July 27, the Bali Provincial Police conducted a coordinated raid on the "Satria" Bird and Pet Market in downtown Denpasar. During the course of that raid tens of protected species were confiscated and a number of illegal animal traders were taken into custody.

Police suspect that the traders got "wind" of the impending raid, as many had abandoned their stands leaving the animals unattended. Police were acting on reports from the local community who had reported that illegal trade in protected species was occurring at the popular local market.

Among the animals confiscated in the raid were owls, nurikeets, a honey bear, a preserved bird of paradise, eagles, arwana fish, anteaters and spotted leopards.

Police arrested 4 illegal traders at the market and, based on evidence collected during the raid, are now searching for 4 traders whose identities are known to the police. Police have announced the names of the traders in the local press and urged that those identified turn themselves into the authorities as an alternative to their forcible arrest.

A law passed in 1990 provides for penalties of up to 5 years in prison and fines of Rp. 100 million for people who trade or keep any animals listed on the endangered species list.

Local conservation groups have been successful in urging Bali's police authorities to take stern measures on the island illegal animal trade and turtle butchers. Many of those groups and local conservation officials have recently urged the police to move against those who keep endangered species as the most definitive step in stopping the trade.