AVA seized the smuggled Zebra Dove (left) and two Oriental White-eye birds as part of AVA’s investigation (Source : AVA).

63-yr-old male sentenced to three months imprisonment for illegally importing birds

A 63-year-old Singaporean man, Low Seng Hai, was sentenced to three months imprisonment for illegally importing two Oriental White-eye (Mata Puteh) birds and one Zebra Dove, and 3 months imprisonment for subjecting the birds to unnecessary suffering or pain, which will run concurrently.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) was notified by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the Woodlands Checkpoint on the detection of three live birds on 27 May 2016.

AVA said that the birds were found hidden inside two small pouches under the front passenger centre console of a Singapore-registered car.

AVA then held investigations and confirmed that the birds were imported without an AVA permit. The birds were transported in a precarious manner (cramped into small pouches with hardly any space for movement), and were without any food or water. As part of the investigation, the birds were tested and found to be free from Avian Influenza.

It said that the birds have been successfully rehomed to the Jurong Bird Park.

Animals which 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.

Travellers are reminded by AVA and ICA that they are 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-ofcharge from iTunes and the Google Play store), for more information on bringing back animals from overseas.