AVA contractor fined over illegal trap

AVA contractor fined over illegal trap
The cage that was set up by AVA contractor Jack Pang near the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to trap macaques.

SINGAPORE - A government contractor has been fined for illegally setting up a monkey trap outside the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Mr Jack Pang was fined for the offence, the National Parks Board (NParks) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

But NParks, which fined him, did not respond to queries by The Straits Times about the fine amount.

The AVA said it had hired Mr Pang for animal control operations after receiving feedback about monkey nuisance and aggression in the Bukit Timah area.

However, in July, he had gone beyond the contracted area and tried to catch a monkey about 10m away from the reserve.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduate student Amanda Tan, who was studying a troop of macaques in Bukit Timah, alerted NParks after seeing Mr Pang set up a cage.

"Prior to the illegal trapping incident, the AVA did not receive any complaints regarding Mr Pang," AVA said. It added that it did not hire Mr Pang or his company for the animal control work while NParks was investigating the incident.

Animal welfare groups here and NTU's Ms Tan welcomed the enforcement but asked how AVA ensures that the monkeys caught are from the designated areas.

The contractors are believed to be paid for each animal captured.

The AVA said: "The condition of all animals sent to AVA is checked upon arrival. AVA also conducts surprise inspections on our contractors regularly to ensure compliance."

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