Direct law against wildlife feeding at nuisance animals

There is no doubt that the current issues with wild boars, mynahs and pigeons could possibly be aided by human feeding (Feeding wild animals does more harm than good, by Mr Neeraj Prabakharan; Aug 4).

However there is no need to enforce laws to ban all forms of such feeding just because there is a rise in human-wildlife encounters.

Such sweeping legislation can be seen as discriminatory, as there are bound to be differing views.

The definition of wild animals is too wide at the moment. As such, nature lovers with a hands-on approach towards helping wildlife will never see eye to eye with those who have a hands-off approach due to their differing beliefs.

The best way forward is to identify and classify animals that are a nuisance, and have legislation directed solely towards them.

It is also important that the law takes one's intention into account.

If feeding of all wild animals were to be banned, then it would be only right that all interference with wild animals be banned as well.

For example, wild animals found with injuries caused by other animals in territorial disputes should not be helped (Otter pup reunited with family after 6 days in complex rescue operation; Aug 7).

It would be a good approach to have a look at the wildlife legislation in other countries, and heed the advice of international naturalists before enforcing such legislation.

Ong Junkai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2018, with the headline 'Direct law against wildlife feeding at nuisance animals'. Print Edition | Subscribe