Killing or treating animals in a cruel manner even if they come into conflict with humans is an offence under the law, says Peninsular Malaysia Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.
He said under Section 86 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716), offenders found guilty of killing or being cruel to animals could be fined up to RM50,000 or imprisoned up to one year, or both.
Abdul Kadir was asked to comment on recent postings on social media showing the fate of animals that have come into conflict with humans, angering Malaysians.
One of them showed two dead otters believed to have been killed and hung on a pole by fish breeders in Simpang Ampat, Penang and another of a crocodile entangled in a fishing net, brutally beaten with rods by a group of men in Miri, Sarawak.
“Do not take action on your own when dealing with wild animals. Contact our department (Perhilitan) and we will take action accordingly,” he told Bernama today.
Abdul Kadir added that these wild animals need to be protected and there are ways to handle them to ensure that they do not become extinct.
He said from 2011-2018, the department dealt with 27 animal cruelty cases in Peninsular Malaysia, and all perpetrators have been charged in court.
He said although the number of cases involving cruelty to wild animals was still under control, the situation should not be taken lightly.
"We will continue to carry out enforcement and provide awareness to the public not to harm wild animals, as it will affect the animal population,” he added.