Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday urged the public to strictly follow the law when buying certain wildlife species.
He said the people must be mindful of the legal measures when purchasing certain wildlife species, as stated under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.
He said 25 tarantulas and 112 spiderlings were seized by the Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit-Ninoy Aquino International Airport of the DENR-National Capital Region upon the turnover of the wildlife by the Bureau of Customs stationed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The wild species were confiscated for violation of Section 27 of RA 9147, specifically on the illegal trade of wildlife and relevant policies.
These were transferred to the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau’s Wildlife Rescue Center for custody.
“While RA 9147 comprehensively contains prohibitions and penalties on illegal wildlife possession and trade, the Act also indicates the legal measures of acquiring wildlife. Let us be reminded that the illegal possession of wildlife such as the tarantulas have serious penalties,” Cimatu said.
A trader of a wild species must have a farm permit or a certificate of wildlife registration.
“More than anything, the requirements, and penalties all boil down for the protection and conservation of our biodiversity, which in the end affects our health. Let us remember that the coronavirus has reportedly come from wildlife and it is still present around us,” Cimatu said.
“If we continue to be non-conforming with our laws or be indifferent with the impact of illegal wildlife trade, exploitation will persist, our ecosystem will be disrupted, and we, including the future generation, will suffer the consequences,” he added.