KUCHING: The exclusion of shotguns from the revocation of rifle ownership licenses which is set to be implemented in stages by the police is a relief to the Dayak community.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing thanked the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) for their understanding of the local community through the exclusion of the shotguns.

He said, although Dayak leaders were not consulted over the mooted license revocation of rifles, the community has made clear of its feelings on the decision.

“This is a sigh of relief for us and especially the local representatives in rural areas, but with that in mind, the shotguns must be protected, treated and used for its purpose.

“Don’t hunt animals that are listed as protected species, and for the animals that are allowed, you can (hunt them),” he told reporters when met after his Chinese New Year visit to the residence of Federation of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions Chinese Associations president Datuk Richard Wee here on Sunday.

In an interview with Bernama on Wednesday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador was quoted as saying the revocation of rifle licenses was to stop rising cases of wildlife poaching in the country.

Last Friday, Sarawak Commissioner of Police Datuk Ramli Din in a statement said the directive was limited to rifles only.