AVA seized the smuggled Zebra Doves (Source: AVA).

Man jailed for illegal import of two birds and animal cruelty

A 46-year-male was sentenced to six weeks’ jail by the court today for the illegal import of two birds and six weeks’ jail for another charge of failure to ensure that the birds were not subjected to unnecessary suffering. Both sentences will run concurrently.

In a press release on Thursday (19 September), Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that on 12 May 2018, Abdul Rahman Bin Husain was stopped by ICA officers for checks at Woodlands checkpoint.

The officers then detected two live Zebra Doves cramped in separate socks and placed in two drawstring pouches hidden in his pants.

According to the authority, Rahman did not have an import licence issued by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) for the import of the birds. AVA also found that the manner of transportation had caused unnecessary suffering to the birds, which were found in poor condition. The birds were seized and placed under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

ICA stressed that it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands. AVA will continue to cooperate and collaborate with partner enforcement agencies to curb against wildlife smuggling. Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, such as bird flu, into the country.

Smuggling animals and birds into Singapore is an offence. Any person, on conviction, is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, or imprisonment of up to 12 months or to both.

AVA reminds travellers that it is strictly against the illegal import of live animals, birds and insects into Singapore to safeguard public and animal health. 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 travels.