8 cases of illegal tiger parts trade, smuggling in Singapore since 2015: AVA on World Wildlife Day

Lydia Lam Straits Times 3 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE - Since 2015, there have been eight cases of tiger parts being illegally traded and smuggled in Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Saturday (March 3), which is World Wildlife Day.

In a post on Facebook, AVA said: "Today, we celebrate World Wildlife Day to raise awareness of the plight of threatened or endangered species."

The theme for this year's occasion, which was proclaimed on Dec 20, 2013, by the United Nations General Assembly, is "Big Cats: Predators Under Threat".

AVA said that tigers are the most endangered of all the big cat species, and face various threats caused by human activities.

The authority shared a graphic on tigers, which highlighted recent enforcement cases in Singapore: In 2016, it meted out a $1,000 fine for the illegal sale of two pieces of tiger teeth.

In 2015, it gave out another $1,000 fine for possession of a piece of leopard tooth.

The same year, it meted out a $5,000 fine for the possession and sale of five pieces of tiger claws.

Under Singapore's Endangered Species (Import and Export) (Prohibition of Sale) Notification, the domestic sale of tiger specimens is prohibited.

Anyone who sells, offers, or exposes for sale or display to the public any tiger parts and products commits an offence.

If found guilty, a suspect can be jailed for up to a year and/or fined up to $10,000.

According to the World Wide Fund For Nature, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, there are only an estimated 3,900 tigers left in the wild in areas such as Russia and Indonesia.

However, there are believed to be as many as 8,000 captive tigers in farms across China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

Some of the uses of tiger parts include tiger teeth in amulets, tiger claws and teeth as lucky charms, and in traditional Chinese medicine.