SINGAPORE - Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers found three bags containing a total of 13 puppies under the front seats and in the glove compartment of a car during routine checks at Woodlands Checkpoint on Sep 9. The Singapore-registered car was driven by a female Singaporean.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said it is working closely with border control agencies, such as the ICA, to safeguard Singapore from illegal imports of animals, in a joint press statement released today by the two agencies.
AVA and ICA advise travellers against bringing live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit, and warn the public against smuggling animals, animal products, meat and meat products into Singapore, which may introduce zoonotic diseases such as rabies into the country.
Rabies is a fatal viral disease, which can be transmitted to man by the bite of a rabid animal. Singapore has been free from rabies since 1953 but as the disease is endemic in the region.
To keep rabies at bay, AVA has imposed stringent requirements for the import of animals, such as pre-export vaccinations and tests, as well as post arrival checks and quarantines.
AVA also conducted its first emergency preparedness exercise code-named "Exercise Lyssa I" to test operational readiness to a rabies outbreak on Sep 9. It was held in conjunction with World Rabies Day which falls on Sep 28.
In addition, AVA tested the activation and delivery of 5,000 doses of animal rabies vaccines from the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Regional Vaccine Bank for Rabies in Asia. An additional 345,000 doses of animal rabies vaccine will be deployed to Singapore should there be a rabies outbreak.