JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s highest Islamic body has issued a religious edict declaring the hunting and trading of endangered species is immoral.
Council member Hayu Susilo Prabowo said the edict was issued last month by the Indonesian Council of Clerics.
Council edicts have no legal weight and are largely ignored, even by observant Muslims, but the announcement shows the impact of conservation efforts in the country.
WWF Indonesia and other conservation groups have worked with the council to get it to release the edict.
Prabowo said the edict will be officially announced March 12 at the Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo, to mark the socialization of the fatwa.
Indonesia is the habitat of scores of endangered or threatened animals, including tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans.