A total of RM8 million (US$1.85 million) is required by 14 zoos and 20 permanent wildlife exhibition centres (ZPT) across Malaysia to cover operating costs during COVID-19.
Malaysian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah advised that the amount was to bear the cost of providing food supplies, medicine and for the animal management purposes following the closure of facilities throughout the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).
Entry ticket sales is the main source of revenue for the exhibition centres, but with no visitors allowed during the MCO period, the centres have experienced a substantial drop in income.
Following his funding contribution today (13th April) of RM1.3 million (US$300,000) to Zoo Negara Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah noted “the Ministry is in the midst of reviewing (the cost) thoroughly and obtaining detailed feedback from the Malaysian Association of Zoological Park and Aquaria (MAZPA) for further action.”
On funding Zoo Negara Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah added “the money is an initial step to help ease the plight of the zoo especially in providing food for the animals following its closure throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) from 18th March until 28th April to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”
To date, Malaysian Energy and Natural Resources Ministry (KeTSA) has through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), issued 34 zoo and permanent wildlife exhibition (ZPT) operating permits under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).
Minister Shamsul said proactive measures were needed to be taken by the government to help ZPTs to ensure the wellbeing of wildlife species, the sustainability of ZPT operations with over 1,058 employees as well as to enhance the image of the country in wildlife conservation at an international level.
The enforcement of the regulations was to prevent ZPT owners or operators from neglecting the welfare aspects such as nutrition, health care and the cleanliness of the cages.
With help from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Minister Shamsul said ZPTs had carried out several initiatives to collect funds to ensure the sufficiency of food supplies.
He also urged more corporate bodies to contribute as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
Zoo Negara has advised that their recent animal adoption campaign had received an encouraging response from various parties but they were still in need of medical assistance.
Image of Zoo Negara. Source Wikimedia Commons
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