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Man jailed for smuggling live birds into S’pore

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man was sentenced to three months’ jail for illegally importing live birds and subjecting them to unnecessary suffering or pain while doing so.

Man jailed for smuggling live birds into S’pore

Low tried to smuggle in the Zebra Dove (left) and two Oriental White-eye birds at Woodlands Checkpoint. Photo: AVA

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man was sentenced to three months’ jail for illegally importing live birds and subjecting them to unnecessary suffering or pain while doing so.

Low Seng Hai, 63, tried to smuggle in two Oriental White-eye (mata puteh) birds and one Zebra Dove at Woodlands Checkpoint, but he was caught by officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) was notified of the case by the ICA on May 27 this year.

The birds were found cramped inside two small pouches with hardly any space for them to move, and were hidden under the front passenger console in a Singapore-registered car.

“The birds were transported in a precarious manner ... and were without any food or water,” the AVA said in a press release yesterday.

Its investigations also confirmed that the birds were imported without a permit.

The birds have been successfully rehomed at the Jurong Bird Park, the AVA said. They were tested as part of the investigations and found to be free from avian flu.

Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases into the country.

Travellers may want to refer to the AVA’s website or download its free mobile app, SG TravelKaki, to get more information on bringing animals into Singapore from overseas.

It is illegal to import any animals or live birds without an AVA permit. If convicted, the offender may be fined S$10,000 and/or jailed up to a year.

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