5 leopard geckos seized at Woodlands Checkpoint

Channel NewsAsia 6 Jun 17;

SINGAPORE: Five leopard geckos were seized from a Singapore-registered car at Woodlands Checkpoint last Friday (Jun 2), after they were found hidden inside pillows at the rear passenger seat.

The car was driven by a 51-year-old Singaporean man who was accompanied by a 32-year-old Singaporean female passenger.

They were directed for further checks shortly before 4pm and the five live geckos were discovered during inspection, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) in a joint news release on Tuesday.

The case has been referred to the AVA which is investigating the matter.

Keeping wild animals such as exotic amphibians, snakes and lizards are not allowed in Singapore, the authorities reminded.

"Wild animals are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled, or if they escape into our dense urban environment," the release said, adding that wild animals that are non-native to Singapore may also be a threat to the bio-diversity if released into the environment.

Anyone convicted of importing animals or live birds without an AVA permit can be fined a maximum of S$10,000, jailed up to one year, or both.
Source: CNA/am


2 Singaporeans caught attempting to smuggle live leopard geckos from Malaysia
Today Online 6 Jun 17;

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man and woman were caught with five live leopard geckos in their car at the Woodlands Checkpoint, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a joint statement on Tuesday (June 6).

The geckos were found hidden inside two pillows at the rear passenger seat of the car last Friday at 3.55pm, after ICA officers conducted checks on the in-bound Singapore-registered car at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

The car was driven by a 51-year-old Singaporean man, who was accompanied by a 32-year-old woman who is also Singaporean.

The case has been referred to the AVA and investigations are ongoing.

According to Reptiles Magazine’s website (www.reptilesmagazine.com), leopard geckos can fetch anything from US$20 (S$27.63) to US$3,000.

Keeping wild animals such as exotic amphibians, snakes and lizards are not allowed in Singapore and the importation of 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.

In the statement, the ICA and AVA reminded travellers against bringing live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit.

Wild animals are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled, or if they escape into our dense urban environment, the agencies warned.

In addition, wild animals that are non-native to Singapore may also be a threat to our bio-diversity if released into the environment. Demand for such animals would fuel illegal wildlife trade, which severely impacts the wild populations of numerous species, the statement added.

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