SINGAPORE - Three people who tried to smuggle 6 birds stuffed in toothpaste boxes into Singapore have been fined $6,000 each.
The birds, which were found in September, are now under the care of Jurong Bird Park.
On November 26, the offenders were sentenced for illegally importing the birds, as well as for subjecting the birds to unnecessary suffering. Each charge carried a $3,000 fine.
In a separate case, a person was caught selling illegal wildlife over the Internet. The individual had 2 sugar gliders and 2 hedgehogs in his possession when discovered.
Last week, the offender was sentenced to a fine of $4,000.
The seized animals are not allowed as domestic pets in Singapore, and were sent to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore for care.
The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore said in a statement on Tuesday that it is an offence for any person to import and export/re-export any animal without a permit from AVA. It is also an offence for any person to have in possession, or to sell or advertise any wildlife and its parts/products, which have been illegally imported or acquired.
Penalties vary according to the regulation applied.
The authority has strict regulatory requirements for the import of live animals and birds due to animal health reasons. Birds must be tested to be free from bird flu and must undergo a 21 day pre-export quarantine prior their export to Singapore.
Under the Animals and Birds Act, it is an offence to import any live animals/birds without an AVA permit. The offence carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
The public should not import or keep wild animals as pets as demand for such animals would fuel illegal wildlife trade, AVA added. 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. Wild animals that are non-native to Singapore may also be a threat to our biodiversity if released into the environment.
Under the Wild Animals and Birds Act (WABA), it is an offence to trap, keep or kill wild animals (excluding scheduled species - Crows, mynahs and pigeons), without a license from AVA. The offence carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 and the forfeiture of the animals. The offender may also be charged for animal cruelty if the animal is found injured.