There were a total of 17 cases of people caught in possession of illegal wildlife in the first ten months of this year, with about 60 animals seized, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore today (Dec 3).
In June, AVA seized four illegal wild animals — two sugar gliders and two hedgehogs — from an individual who had been hawking them online after an investigation. The individual was charged in court and fined S$4,000.
In September, three individuals were found by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to have smuggled six mata puteh birds (Oriental White Eyes) in toothpaste boxes.
The offenders were charged and fined S$6,000 each for illegal import and subjecting the birds to unnecessary suffering.
The seized animals, which are illegal to keep as pets in Singapore, were sent to Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Jurong Bird Park for care and custody.
In Singapore, it is an offence to import, export and/or re-export any animals without a permit from AVA. It is also an offence for any person to possess, sell or advertise any wildlife or wildlife parts and products that were illegally imported or acquired.
In addition, wild animals should not be kept as pets as they might transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and pose as a public health risk, AVA said.