Monday February 1, 2010
Peta: Wildlife trader’s firms supplying animals to US outlet
By HILARY CHIEW
PETALING JAYA: A wildlife trader based in Penang has been linked to a Dec 15 seizure in the United States of various types of animals from an exotic animal outlet in Arlington, Texas.
Two of the trader’s companies were found to have been supplying animals to the outlet.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) claimed in a statement that CBS Wildlife and Sungai Rusa Wildlife, both owned by Anson Wong, were supplying various types of animals and wildlife to US Global Exotics (USGE).
Wong pleaded guilty to trafficking in wildlife in the US and was sentenced to 71 months’ jail in 2000.
In a statement faxed to The Star, Peta said more than 26,000 animals like lemurs, wallabies, sloths, hamsters, gerbils, snakes, lizards, spiders and hedgehogs were removed from USGE during what it described as a massive international exotic animal operation involving the largest animal confiscation in history.
The raid on USGE, said Peta, was a result of its seven-month undercover investigations at the outlet’s facilities where animals were crammed for weeks into cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and bins.
Its investigator also documented starvation and the inhumane and filthy conditions in which the animals were kept, causing widespread disease and cannibalism.
It claimed that USGE’s employees threw live squirrels, lizards, a chincilla and snakes into a freezer to die, and that they also dumped dying animals into the facility’s rubbish bins amidst rotting re- mains.
Peta wants the International Trade and Industry Ministry to ban the trade of exotic species in Malaysia and prohibit their importation into the United States.
A call to Wong’s handphone was abruptly disconnected after the reporter identified herself. “Oh, bad news!” said Wong before terminating the call.