Wildlife traders urged: Secure permit
DESPITE the warnings given by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR – 7) to the illegal trading of wildlife, some traders continue to sell without having the necessary permits to sell these animals. Myrna (not her real name) has been selling African Lovebirds shipped from Australia. A pair of the rosy-faced lovebirds can be sold for at least P2,200 while a pair of her cockatiel can be sold at P4,000.
Ariel Rica, DENR – 7 Enforcement Division chief, said he had been encouraging wildlife traders to apply for the permits to that they would not be sanctioned or imprisoned.
“Hangyo nila samtang wala pa sila madakpi, moundang nalang niya sila kay (I urge them to stop their illegal activities, in which) eventually the law will catch them,” he said in a phone interview.
Under the Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, persons caught obtaining species considered as critical would be asked to pay a fine of P100,000 to P1 million or imprisonment of six to 12 years.
For a trader like Cherry Dacay, 31, she had secured a Wildlife Farm Permit three years ago which made her a legitimate seller. She sells African lovebirds along the sidewalk on Magallanes Street., Cebu City.
Dacay said she has her backyard farm in Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City, where her birds like cockatiel and African lovebirds breed and then sells their offspring.
Rica added that buyers and owners of endangered species could also be held liable if they do not have secured a permit of Certificate of Wildlife Registration (CWR) from the DENR.
For Cleevan Alegres, who has been keeping a reptile like iguana for about eight years.
He said bought it from a legitimate seller and had it registered. “Makawala jud siya ug stress,” Alegres said who is also a veterinary medicine student.
Rica said on a previous interview, Cebu City is considered as the hot spot area for smuggled wildlife from other regions and countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.
Last year, the DENR – 7 had at least 265 apprehensions for illegally trading wildlife, 90 percent of it came from Cebu City.
When sought for comment, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he could not believe that Cebu City is the center for smuggling of wildlife.
“I can’t believe that,” he said on a text message.
Rica said they are still closely monitoring to illegal traders transshipment of wildlife, and crafting a proposal to place DENR monitoring units to every seaports and airports in the region.
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