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Singapore

Woman fined for repeatedly feeding wild birds, throwing food out from vehicle window

Woman fined for repeatedly feeding wild birds, throwing food out from vehicle window
File photo of a mynah in Singapore. (Photo: Hani Amin)

SINGAPORE: Despite being issued a warning and told to stop feeding wild birds, a woman continued to throw food out of her vehicle for doves and mynahs to peck on.

Wendy Kang Mei Ling, 44, was fined S$3,000 by a district court on Wednesday (Oct 27) for three counts of intentionally feeding wildlife without written approval. Another two charges were taken into consideration.

The court heard that Kang was seen throwing food to birds in Sengkang in August 2020, and a letter of warning was issued to her.

However, she continued feeding wild birds from Apr 13 this year to Jun 1. She would throw food from her vehicle to feed doves and mynahs, which come under the description of "wild birds" under the Wildlife Act, the National Parks Board (NParks) prosecutor said.

She fed the birds by throwing food from her vehicle at 7am on Apr 13 along Tanah Merah Besar Road and at 8am on Apr 26 along Jalan Kayu. 

At 8am on May 30, she was observed feeding wild birds from the passenger seat of a vehicle along Upper Changi Road North, and did so again the next morning along Cosford Road.

Kang was seen feeding the birds again from her vehicle along Upper Changi Road North on Jun 1.

An NParks case investigator flagged the case, and Kang was charged in court on Wednesday.

NParks prosecutor Packer Mohammad said Kang has "proven to be a recalcitrant bird feeder" and asked for a total fine of S$3,000.

He said there was no case precedent for wild bird feeding under new amendments, but that a previous case for wild boar feeding under the new laws drew a fine of S$2,500.

"Singapore is a city in a garden and wild birds such as doves and mynahs have ample natural food," he said. "There's no reason for anyone to feed such birds."

He said there were "potentially serious" issues that stem from feeding wild birds, such as when they become conditioned to being fed by humans and linger around human areas, leaving droppings behind.

"S$3,000 is reasonable and not harsh, and should be sufficient to send a strong message to like-minded wild bird feeders," he said.

The judge meted out the suggested fine, taking into account the fact that Kang was pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.

For each charge of intentionally feeding wildlife, she could have been fined up to S$5,000 as a first-time offender.

Source: CNA/ll(zl)

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