Member of Parliament (MP) of Nee Soon GRC, Louis Ng Kok Kwang, is concerned about wild boars poaching that happens in the country.
Mr Louis Ng has asked the Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong last week in the 46th session of the 13th Parliament regarding the matter. He asked the Minister, for each year in the past three years,
- How many reports of wild boar poaching has the AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore) received;
- How many of these cases have resulted in enforcement action being taken; and,
- What is the breakdown of the nature of enforcement action taken in these cases.
Mr Wong replied, "Over the past three years, AVA has received three feedback of sightings of illegal wild boar traps in forested areas. Two of the cases were related and the illegal trap was removed.”
“In a recent case reported in April, AVA investigated and found two traps. AVA has disarmed these traps and is in the process of removing them.”
The wild boar is a native animal of Singapore which can weigh up to 100kg and has a lifespan of over 20 years. They are omnivorous, but feed mainly on seeds, tubers and young plants.
AVA said these days they are increasingly spotted all over the island. Their quick reproduction rates, presence of ideal foraging habitats and the lack of natural predators all contribute to their population growth.
AVA told Channel NewsAsia on January 2017 it received 140 pieces of feedback about wild boars last year; an increase from 80 in 2015 and 30 in 2014.
Although they appear shy, they are still wild animals and are unpredictable in behaviour which could pose a risk to public safety, AVA said, but like many other wild animals, wild boars will only attack if they are cornered or if they feel threatened. Female wild boars are very protective of their young and can easily be provoked.
The increase in the population of wild boars may result in a higher frequency of human-wild boar conflict as they wander into parks, public roads and residential areas; however, under the Wild Animals and Birds Act (WABA), it is an offence to kill, take or keep any wild animals without a licence. Penalties include fines of up to $1,000 per wild animal or bird, and the animal will also be seized, as stated by Mr Louis Ng on his Facebook.
Mr Ng also wrote on his Facebook that under the Parks and Trees Act, anyone who captures or displaces an animal from a national park or nature reserve without permission can be fined up to $50,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both, upon conviction. The offence of capturing an animal, if it is committed in the public parks, is a fine of up to $5,000 upon conviction."
“I do believe we need to step up our patrols and enforcement and doing so will result in more cases being detected,” said Mr Ng on his post.
For the general public safety, in the event of encountering wild boars, AVA advised:
- Be calm and move slowly away from the animal. Do not approach or attempt to feed the animal.
- Keep a safe distance and do not corner or provoke the animal e. by using a flash while taking pictures of it.
- If you see adults with young piglets, leave them alone. These are potentially more dangerous because they may attempt to defend their young.