SINGAPORE: A 29-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to three months’ jail on Wednesday (Oct 26) for illegally importing three Red-whiskered Bulbul birds. Muhammad Farhan Abdullah was also given three months' jail for subjecting them to unnecessary suffering or pain.
Both sentences will run concurrently, according to the joint statement by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on Thursday.
The ICA alerted the AVA to the case in June, after officers discovered three live birds in the man's car at the Woodlands Checkpoint.
(Left) Box with a bird hidden beneath the carpet of the front passenger seat. (Right) Two more boxes with birds hidden under rear passenger seats. (Photos: ICA)
In a joint media release on Thursday, AVA and ICA said the birds were found hidden inside three small boxes beneath the carpet of the front passenger seat, as well as under the rear passenger seats of the Singapore-registered car.
All three boxes were found with birds hidden inside. (Photo: ICA)
Following investigations, AVA confirmed the Red-whiskered Bulbul birds were imported without an AVA permit. The birds were also tested and found to be free from avian influenza, and have been successfully rehomed at Jurong Bird Park, added AVA.
“Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases into the country,” said AVA. Offenders who import any animals or live birds without an AVA permit are liable to the maximum penalty of S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to a year.