SINGAPORE: A man was sentenced to 12 months’ jail on Monday (Apr 24) for smuggling 27 pet animals, some in laundry bags, from Malaysia to Singapore.
Of the 27 animals, one puppy was found dead and 18 subsequently died from a canine disease.
Gobysuwaran Paraman Sivan was sentenced for illegally importing pet animals without a licence and causing the animals unnecessary pain and suffering in the process, said the National Parks Board (NParks) in a media release on Monday.
The 36-year-old Malaysian had smuggled 26 puppies and one cat in a lorry from Malaysia on Oct 18, 2022, in what NParks described as “one of the most serious cases of animal smuggling to date”.
19 OF THE 26 PUPPIES DIED
In October 2022, immigration officers at Tuas Checkpoint stopped a Malaysia-registered lorry and found 27 pet animals hidden in various compartments of the lorry, according to NParks.
Officers found some animals confined in laundry bags and stowed away in the vehicle’s overhead compartment. Other animals were packed behind the driver and passenger seats in plastic containers.
One puppy was found dead on arrival, and laboratory tests detected the canine parvovirus in some of the remaining puppies. Eighteen subsequently died.
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and relatively common cause of acute, infectious gastrointestinal illness in young, unvaccinated dogs.
“Had these puppies gone into homes, canine parvovirus might have been spread to other dogs in the community,” said NParks.
OTHER CASES OF ANIMAL SMUGGLING
NParks also highlighted several other cases of animal smuggling that took place from October 2022 to March 2023; a total of 19 cases were detected by NParks and partner agencies.
Among them was a shipment of 337 birds found in a lorry entering Singapore via Tuas Checkpoint in late March, in which the birds were smuggled in plastic boxes hidden behind the driver’s seat.
“Within five days of the seizure, 91 out of 97 birds from one of the smuggled species died, likely due to stress from the smuggling process,” said NParks.
In another case, also at Tuas Checkpoint, 11 puppies and one kitten were found sedated and hidden inside a vehicle.
Three puppies and a kitten were kept underneath the rear passenger seat and the other eight puppies were packed in the spare tyre compartment in the boot of the car, which itself had been modified to house two layers of puppies.
ILLEGAL TRADE OF PET ANIMALS AND WILDLIFE
NParks carried out a raid of the residential units of eight individuals who had advertised wildlife species for sale on messaging app Telegram in September 2022, it said.
The units were located across Singapore, including at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Marsiling, Punggol, Serangoon and Tampines.
More than 50 wildlife specimens were seized, from species such as scorpions, tarantulas, Green Iguanas and Bearded Dragons.
In November 2022, NParks raided a farm in Lim Chu Kang and seized 70 wildlife specimens, including several species which are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), such as the Leopard Tortoise, Argentine Black and White Tegu and Veiled Chameleon.
In August 2022, NParks also investigated a case of unlicensed breeding and sale of Ragdoll cats.
The individuals involved had bred their imported Ragdoll cats at their personal residences and advertised the kittens for sale online.
“To safeguard animal health and welfare, only licensed premises such as pet shops are allowed to sell cats,” said NParks.
The government takes a zero-tolerance stance on the illegal trade and import of pet animals and wildlife, said NParks.
Under the Animals and Birds Act, first-time offenders caught importing any animal or bird without a licence may be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both.
The Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, which regulates trade in wildlife species protected under CITES, was also amended in 2022 to include stiffer penalties for illegal wildlife trade.
Source : CNA