Malaysian man faces imprisonment for smuggling 23 puppies and animal cruelty

Puppies confined in a pet carrier.
PHOTO: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore

Two men, one Malaysian and the other Singaporean, were charged on Wednesday (Dec 28) for illegally importing puppies and animal cruelty, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in a statement.

Malaysian Yeun Jian Iun, 21, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for smuggling and four months imprisonment for animal cruelty.

His sentences will run concurrently.

Singaporean Cheow Yon Siong, 51, informed the court that he intends to appeal. His case will be mentioned again on Jan 18 next year.

On Oct 28, Police Coast Guard (PCG) officers had approached a Singapore-registered yacht for routine inspection while patrolling at the sea off Changi General Purposes Anchorage.

They discovered 23 live puppies on board the yacht belonging to Cheow. The men did not have an AVA import permit or health certificate for the puppies.

The 23 puppies, which include nine poodles, five shih tzus, four pomeranians, three French bulldogs, and two golden retrievers were kept in cramped conditions in six pet carriers that were concealed under bath towels.

Photo: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore

Along with the puppies, the men were referred to AVA for further investigation.

AVA investigations revealed that no food and water were provided during the illegal transportation. Some of the puppies showed clinical signs of lethargy, inappetence and diarrhoea.

While the case was under investigation, the 12 surviving puppies were cared for and quarantined at AVA's Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS).

They were observed for signs of infectious or contagious diseases, especially rabies, a disease which is fatal to animals and humans.

The AVA reminds travellers to not bring in live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit. The importation of animals without an AVA permit is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and, or imprisonment of up to one year.