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Wild animals, illegal meat seized in raids

Bengal Monitors sit in a cage after they were seized in Ratanakkiri province during a raid last week. Wildlife Alliance
Bengal Monitors sit in a cage after they were seized in Ratanakkiri province during a raid last week. Wildlife Alliance

Wild animals, illegal meat seized in raids

Authorities have seized more than 160 kilograms of illegal wildlife meat and several live animals during separate raids in Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri provinces over the past week.

Local Forestry Administration officials searched Stung Treng market in the provincial capital on Monday and confiscated 60 kilograms of meat from wild pig, red muntjac deer, slow loris and a jungle cat, according to provincial FA director Chheang Tola. A live Bengal monitor lizard was also seized, he added.

“We cracked down and seized many kinds of wildlife animals from many female vendors,” he said. “The vendors fled and we chased them across the market, but they managed to escape.”

All wildlife in Cambodia is considered state property and its trade is illegal. The forestry official said the confiscated meat was torched and the monitor released into the wild.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, more than 100 kilograms of illegal meat were confiscated from a flat in Ratanakkiri’s Banlung town.

Officials from the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, including national military and Forestry Administration officers, along with NGO Wildlife Alliance, seized six dead red muntjac deer, two dead wild pigs, 15kg of monitor meat, one live palm civet and five live monitors last Wednesday, according to a Wildlife Alliance official who asked not to be named.

“We looked into the case and it took us many days to get clear information before we cracked down,” he said.

Two people were fined $2,000 but were unable to pay, the source said, so the cases were referred to the court. The live wildlife has been released.

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