Many die for that single illegal animal purchase

A man tried to smuggle 302 birds from Johor to Singapore. Three-quarters of the animals died. Every animal captured and put in a cage is a survivor of untold deaths. I learnt about this in the early 90’s when reading John Nichol’s excellent book, “The Animal Smugglers” and it made me even less enamoured (if possible) with the cage bird trade.

Animal smuggling has been on the rise in Singapore. I hope that news of this $18,000 fine from an original $230 purchase will act as a deterrent to other would be miscreants. There are bigger fish to fry but this is a start.

Thanks to our ICA officers at Woodlands Checkpoint for detecting this and for AVA in a successful prosecution. The fine of $18,000 was $8,000 for bringing birds in without an AVA licence, $5,000 for causing unnecessary suffering and $5,000 for not providing the birds with food and water.

As in everything else, this sort of idiocy will be common as long as there are people willing to pay to buy these animals. They should be prosecuted too.

Man fined for smuggling more than 300 singing birds into Singapore.” by Alvina Soh. Today Online, 17 Jan 2012.

“A site engineer was fined S$18,000 yesterday for smuggling in more than 300 singing birds from Johor, three-quarters of which died as a result of their confinement.

Winston Boo Kiang Cheng, 38, was convicted of three counts of contravening the Animals and Birds Act, after he brought in the birds without a Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) licence and causing them unnecessary suffering.

Boo committed the offences on Nov 1 last year, a day after he purchased the birds for RM558 (S$230).

The birds were found hidden in the boot and beneath the rear passenger seat of his car. All 302 birds – 253 Spotted Munia, 48 Oriental White Eye and a Shama – were packed into 11 cages, toilet roll cardboards, a pipe and two plastic trays.

The AVA said the birds were confined in cramped and restrictive conditions. The birds were also not given food and water during their seven-hour journey here.”

More reports with other details compiled at WildSingapore.