SINGAPORE: A 74-year-old man was fined S$10,000 for illegally importing a zebra dove, and for subjecting the bird to unnecessary suffering and pain, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a media release on Wednesday (Nov 8).
This is the first time that the maximum penalty of S$10,000 has been meted out for illegally importing animals or live birds, AVA said.
This is not Lian Kin Ting's first time importing live birds illegally. In 2009, he was fined S$3,000 for importing seven zebra doves without a licence.
AVA was alerted by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers on Feb 1 that a zebra dove had been found hidden in a car at Tuas Checkpoint. The dove was in a pouch beneath the driver’s seat of the Singapore-registered car.
AVA investigations found that there was no food and water provided for the bird in the pouch, and it was found to have experienced significant stress. The bird was also imported without a valid licence.
The dove is now under the care of the Jurong Bird Park.
"Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce diseases, such as bird flu, into the country," AVA said.
Anyone guilty of importing any animals or live birds without an AVA permit may be fined up to S$10,000 and jailed up to one year.