SINGAPORE: A man charged with keeping 25 chickens in his Pasir Ris flat, maintaining an unlicensed farm and distributing the fowl from his home had his case mentioned again on Wednesday (Jun 9).
Eric Woo Yoke Meng, 50, faces three charges under the Animals and Birds (Licensing of Farms), (Prevention of Avian Disease In Non-commercial Poultry) and (Pet Shop and Exhibition) Rules.
He is accused of keeping 25 chickens in his ninth-floor flat at Block 275 Pasir Ris Street 21 on Jul 9, 2020. This was more than the 10 that is allowed, the charge sheet said.
According to the Animals and Birds (Prevention of Avian Disease In Non-commercial Poultry) Rules 2006, no person shall keep more than 10 non-commercial poultry animals in any premises.
Non-commercial poultry means any poultry that is not kept in a farm or a slaughterhouse, not kept or displayed for sale in a pet shop, not exhibited in any premises in accordance with a licence and not kept or used in a licensed research facility.
Woo is also accused of breeding 25 chickens in his flat for commercial purposes and maintaining a farm without a licence, as well as using his flat for distribution of the chickens without a licence.
Woo's lawyer asked for an adjournment on Wednesday, saying his client was deciding whether to plead guilty. Woo had been charged at an earlier date.
The judge adjourned the case to July.
According to a TODAY report in July 2019, Woo is regarded among the poultry-rearing community as one of its leaders in Singapore.
Housing Development Board officers reportedly visited his home in May 2019 following a tip-off and told him that keeping chickens in HDB flats was not allowed.
If convicted of maintaining an unlicensed farm or keeping more than 10 non-commercial chickens, Woo can be jailed up to a year, fined up to S$10,000 or both.
For using his flat to distribute the chickens when he did not have a licence, he can be fined up to S$5,000.