Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has announced that a 29-year-old Singaporean man, Muhammad Farhan bin Abdullah, was sentenced on 26 October 2016 to 3 months imprisonment for illegally importing 3 Red-whiskered Bulbul birds, and 3 months imprisonment for subjecting the birds to unnecessary suffering or pain, which will run concurrently.
AVA said that it was notified by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the Woodlands Checkpoint on the detection of three live birds on 6 June 2016.
The birds were found hidden inside three small boxes beneath the carpet of the front passenger seat, as well as under the rear passenger seats of a Singapore-registered car.
According to AVA, its investigations confirmed that the Red-whiskered Bulbul birds were imported without an AVA permit. As part of the investigation, the birds were tested and found to be free from Avian Influenza. The birds then rehomed to Jurong Bird Park.
AVA stressed that animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, into the country. The importation of any animals or live birds without an AVA permit is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
The ICA and AVA remind travellers not to bring live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit. The public can refer to AVA’s website or download AVA’s mobile app, SG TravelKaki (available free-of-charge from iTunes and the Google Play store), for more information on bringing back animals from overseas.