Forum: Why is hunting of wildlife in nature reserve being promoted?

I was forwarded an event announcement by telco Circles.Life on "How to catch a wild boar in Seletar Reservoir".

The $257 workshop will "take you to the wilderness surrounding Upper Seletar Reservoir to hunt wild boar", where participants will be taken through the entire process, from "planning and prep to stalking and hunting of the boar". It promises to be an "immersive and exciting experience".

I cannot understand why the hunting of wildlife in a protected nature reserve would be promoted, even as a publicity gimmick. No one would possibly think of promoting, even as a joke, anything that is not only clearly illegal but also abhorrent.

Perhaps it was reasoned that wildlife crime is not serious, that it can be dismissed as something innocent. After all, hunting wild boar is legal in many countries, and wild boar delicacies are traditionally produced and sold across much of Asia and Europe.

Hunting is sometimes used as a wildlife control measure in places where populations of some species are considered to be at levels that harm the balance of the wider ecosystem. But in Singapore, wild animals are protected.

The Wildlife Act, revised only a few months ago, states that "a person must not intentionally kill, trap, take or keep any wildlife in any place unless the person has the Director-General's (of Wildlife Management) written approval to do so".

The Wildlife Act was not passed by Parliament because our MPs are animal lovers, but for ecological, scientific reasons.

Singapore's nature areas are not large and need protection and careful management if they are to be self-sustaining.

By writing this letter, I am buying into a marketing stunt. But many of us, especially in these tough economic times, want to get behind companies whose values we admire or whose products and attitudes resonate with us.

Respect for cultural diversity, gender equality, inclusiveness, and wildlife and the environment are just some of the things that are important for many Singapore consumers. We will spend hard-earned money on companies we can believe in and feel right supporting.

Shawn Lum

President

Nature Society (Singapore)