Man fined $6,600 for possession and keeping of illegal wildlife

PHOTO: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore

A man has been caught for the possession and keeping of illegal wildlife here in Singapore.

And it wouldn't have been the case if not for a tip-off given to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), said the organisation in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 13).

The perpetrator, Lim Kok Huat, 33, was fined $6,600 by the court on Wednesday.

AVA received the tip-off on Feb 28, regarding an individual who was allegedly selling illegal wildlife online.

Two Indian Star tortoises and a hedgehog - which were meant for sale - were seized and placed under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said AVA.

The statement continued: "We worked with our informant to monitor his activities and subsequently conducted a sting operation on Mar 8, 2017."

The keeping and selling of wild animals, such as tortoises and hedgehogs, are prohibited in Singapore, according to AVA.

Wild animals make unsuitable pets as "they may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled or if they escape".

In Singapore, it is an offence to illegally import/export, possess, sell, offer/advertise for sale or display to public any illegal wildlife species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna or Flora (CITES).

This includes online sales of such wildlife species. An example of a CITES-protected species is the star tortoise, said AVA.

Although wild animals such as hedgehogs are not protected by CITES, it is also an offence to keep, sell or offer them for sale.

Members of the public who have information on illegal wildlife activities can contact AVA to make a report.