Sunday, November 4, 2007

Federal: June 2003, Statement From the then Science and Technology Minister

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 (From the Star)

Guidelines on swiflet nest farming issued


Swiftlet nests, reportedly reaping RM1.5mil a month, will not be allowed to be cultivated in housing as well as in public and recreational areas under guidelines issued by the Government yesterday.

The guidelines, however, are only applicable to birdhouse operators in the peninsula.
“Sabah and Sarawak have their own state provisions governing the industry and their bird nests are harvested from the wild,” said Science, Technology and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Law Hieng Ding.

Birdhouses must only be built on agricultural land or in light industrial areas and the use of loudspeakers to lure the birds is also prohibited, according to the new Guidelines on Swiftlets’ Nest Industry.

Law said the guidelines was to ensure the farming and collection of edible swiftlets’ nests from buildings do not become a nuisance and a health hazard.

“It is also to ensure that the collection and farming do not jeopardise or reduce the species’ population,’” he told reporters after launching the guidelines at his office here.

Law said the guidelines were, however, voluntary in nature. But the authorities could still act against errant operators because the swiftlets, of the white nest and black nest species, were protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

“The industry is also subjected to the Uniform Building Bylaws 1986, the Destruction of Disease Bearing Insects Act 1975 and Health Department regulations.

“Birdhouse operators must get premise licence from their local authorities, a collection of birds nest license and a trading of birds nest license from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks,” he said.

Malaysia Bird’s Nests Merchants Association president John Chen said: ”Our production is around 200kg to 300kg per month.”

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