Indonesia’s Aceh province has issueda new law under which poachers who threaten endangered wildlife could receiveup to 100 lashes, which is usually reserved for morality crimes under Islamiclaw.

Aceh is the only region in Indonesia - the world's biggestMuslim-majority country - to impose religious law.

The new rules, adopted last week, mark the first time thatcrimes against wildlife fall under Aceh's strict sharia code.

The punishment is expected to come into effect early nextyear.


Violators will receive up to 100 strokes in addition to anyprison time under national law.

Civil servants charged with protecting animals could bewhipped as many as 60 times if they are found to be negligent in their duties.

Aceh lawmaker Nurzahri said the harsh new punishmentunderscores efforts to clamp down on poaching and other threats to local wildlife.

Aceh is the centre of biodiversity in Sumatra and it is thehabitat of some animals like Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers./ VNA