Datu Len Talif Salleh
KUCHING: The growing demand for bird nests and its high market prices has led to increase in application for swiftlet farming licenses.
Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh told the State Legislative Assembly that as of Sept 30 this year, a total 535 swiftlet house licences and 106 licences for swiftlet farming in caves have been issued.
Of the 535 swiftlet house licences, 130 were issued in Samarahan Division, 118 in Sarikei, 100 in Betong, 88 in Mukah, 35 in Bintulu, 25 in Sibu, 19 in Kuching, 12 in Miri, 4 in Sri Aman, 2 in Limbang and 2 in Kapit.
For the licences for swiftlet farming in caves, 51 were issued in Niah, 38 in Baram, 5 in Serian and 12 in Bintulu.
Most of the bird nests harvested were exported to China and also to domestic markets, with market prices now in the range of RM3,000 to RM4,000 per kilo gramme, he said in reply to Mohamad Razi Sitam (PBB – Saribas).
Despite this, he informed there were still unlicensed swiftlet farmers but he did not disclose the statistics for this.
He said the Sarawak Forest Department has issued warning letters to unlicensed operators to cease operations, and also advised them to take down twitters used to attract the swiftlets.
Relevant agencies such as local councils, Land and Survey Department and police also carried out respective enforcement as stipulated under Wild Life Ordinance 1998.
The state government through Sarawak Forest Department encourages operators and those involved in bird nests industry to apply for appropriate licenses to farm, sell, export and import of swiftlet bird nests.
This is in accordance with the Wild Life Ordnance 1998, Wild Life Protection (Edible Birds Nests) Rules 1998 and Sarawak Swiftlet Farming Guidelines, he said.
SUMBER : theborneopost.com