Animal smugglers should face tougher punishments, like longer prison terms

Jodi Wan Cheuk-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
  • Smuggling rare wild animals is bad for the planet, as well as the animals themselves.
  • We must convince people to stand up for the environment before it's too late.
Jodi Wan Cheuk-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College |

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Hong Kong Customs seized 57 live tortoises with an estimated market value of about $340,000 at Hong Kong International Airport.

I am writing in response to the article, “Smuggler jailed for two years after he was caught by Hong Kong customs officers with 57 endangered tortoises” (SCMP, April 2).

The article said that the animals were found wrapped in plastic tape in the traveller’s baggage. They had an estimated value of HK$340,000.

The smuggler was also very cruel in the way he handled the tortoises.

Smuggling rare wild animals is bad for the creatures themselves, and for the planet. Governments should educate the public about the wonders of the natural world and the need to protect wildlife. This should start in school.

What’s more, I believe smugglers should receive tougher punishments, including bigger fines and longer prison terms.

We cannot let this continue. We must do more to convince people to stand up for the environment.

Jodi Wan Cheuk-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

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From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Jodi. So many animals are classed as endangered now, and most of it is our fault. We destroy their homes when we cut down trees, or throw rubbish into the sea. We have also hunted many species of animals into extinction.

We should make a joint effort to save our wildlife.

Schools should encourage students to do their bit to stop the natural world from disappearing. As so many species are in trouble, we should rally together to help the world. If we want future generations to enjoy the beauty of nature, we should take action now. If we don’t treat the planet better, not only will we lose lots of animals, we may not have fresh air to breathe.

Once a species is extinct, we can’t bring it back. Preserving the natural world is a very important cause, and we all have a part to play.

But it is not difficult for us to do something to heal the planet.

M. J. Premaratne, Sub-editor