Man jailed for smuggling live birds into Singapore

Today Online 24 Nov 16;

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man was sentenced to three months’ jail for illegally importing live birds and subjecting them to unnecessary suffering or pain while doing so.

Low Seng Hai, 63, tried to smuggle in two Oriental White-eye (mata puteh) birds and one Zebra Dove at Woodlands Checkpoint, but he was caught by officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) was notified of the case by the ICA on May 27 this year.

The birds were found cramped inside two small pouches with hardly any space for them to move, and were hidden under the front passenger console in a Singapore-registered car.

“The birds were transported in a precarious manner ... and were without any food or water,” the AVA said in a press release yesterday.

Its investigations also confirmed that the birds were imported without a permit.

The birds have been successfully rehomed at the Jurong Bird Park, the AVA said. They were tested as part of the investigations and found to be free from avian flu.

Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases into the country.

Travellers may want to refer to the AVA’s website or download its free mobile app, SG TravelKaki, to get more information on bringing animals into Singapore from overseas.

It is illegal to import any animals or live birds without an AVA permit. If convicted, the offender may be fined S$10,000 and/or jailed up to a year.


3 months' jail for man who smuggled birds into Singapore
Channel NewsAsia 23 Nov 16;

SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old Singaporean man was jailed on Wednesday (Nov 23) for illegally importing birds and subjecting them to unnecessary suffering.

He was sentenced to three months' jail for each charge. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Low Seng Hai had smuggled the birds - two Oriental White-eye (Mata Puteh) birds and a Zebra Dove - inside two small pouches under the front passenger centre console of a Singapore-registered car.

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers detected the birds at Woodlands Checkpoint on May 27.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) investigated and confirmed that the birds were imported without a permit. “The birds were transported in a precarious manner (cramped into small pouches with hardly any space for movement), and were without any food or water,” said AVA in a joint news release with ICA.

Tests found the birds free avian influenza and the birds have been rehomed at the Jurong Bird Park, added the news release.

Importing animals or live birds without an AVA permit is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

- CNA/xk

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