Get Heavy Penalty For Illegal Possession of Endangered Species in Singapore

While there are many unlawful sales of endangered species all over the world, but it is definitely not happening in Singapore as there is a signed agreement with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). A permit is required for the import and export/re-export of animals to and from Singapore while illegal possession, trade in or import is a fineable offence in Singapore.

If found guilty, the offender shall be fine to a maximum of $50,000 per specimen (not to exceed an aggregate of $500,000) and/or jail term of up to 2 years.

Case Study

Ong Ming Siang, 33 was fined $41,000 for possession of illegal wildlife on 6th February 2014 after a public tip off. Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) conducted an inspection at his HDB flat and seized 32 wild animals on 3rd June 2013. Under the 32 wildlife animals under his possession, 19 animals were classified as endangered species under CITES. This was so far the biggest seizure of illegal wildlife from a home in 11 years and it was also the largest fine meted out for the offence. The endangered animals seized was three rare ball pythons, two Indian star tortoises, a slow loris, three black-tailed prairie dogs, two sailfin dragons and five ornate horned frogs.

Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act
Wild Animals and Birds Act  
The Straits Times
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA)

Get Fined if Pet Shops Sell Pet to Under 16-Year-Old

With effect from 1 January 2014, a new licensing ruling has been passed to pet shops which prevent those under 16-year-old from buying a cat, dog or rabbit from a pet shop, unless accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. Furthermore, pet shop owners are to also screen older potential customers before allowing them to buy a pet.

Meanwhile, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has given a six months grace period, till June 30, 2014 for full implementation of the new law.

Under the new law pet shop owners maybe be fined up to S$ 500 and repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended or revoked.

Mix Feelings for Pet Shop Owners

Under the new ruling, some pet shops are expecting business to fall about 15%, but believe that will be a short term loss. While the advantage of the ruling also means that those whom are really into taking good care of their pet in long term basis will buy more products which in turn to be more business for the shop owners.

How Do Pet Shop Owners Screen Adult Buyers ?

I think that is a question that most of the citizens are asking at the moment. There is an uproar in the internet and social network such as facebook the purpose of the new law and debates has been ongoing. Though it restrict under 16 to buy a pet, how would a pet shop owner judge older customer if they are eligible to keep a pet ? Through their deep pocket, looks or character ? A thing which no one knows for sure. 

Restriction of Pets in HDB Housing

Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) is a government subsidized flat provided to almost 80% of the Singaporeans and most of the time they are binding rules & regulations while living at these flats. I was browsing through the HDB’s Website today and found an interesting fact about keeping of pets within HDB’s flats.

HDB allowed pet animals such as fish, hamsters, rabbits and birds to be kept at home, but for two particular pet, dogs & cats, they do have special ruling on them.

HDB only allowed one dog to be kept as pet per flat and they have to be a approved breed as suggested by HDB. This comes into consideration that if this was not being controlled, it might cause nuisance and disturb the neighbours. Below are the 62 approved breed by HDB.

  1. Affenpinscher
  2. Australian Silky Terrier
  3. Australian Terrier
  4. Bichon Terrier
  5. Bohemian Terrier
  6. Bolognese
  7. Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxaellois)
  8. Bichon Avanese
  9. Border Terrier
  10. Boston Terrier (Light weight and middle weight)
  11. Cairn Terrier
  12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  13. Chihuahua
  14. Chinese Crested Dog
  15. Chinese Imperial Chin
  16. Chinese Temple Dog (classic and miniature)
  17. Coton de tulear
  18. Czech Terrier
  19. Dachshund (light and miniature)
  20. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  21. English Toy Spaniel
  22. Griffon Belge
  23. German Hunting Terrier
  24. Griffon Brabancon
  25. Hairless Dog
  26. Italian Greyhound
  27. Jack Russell Terrier
  28. Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
  29. Japanese Spitz
  30. Lhasa Apso
  31. Little Lion Dog
  32. Lakeland Terrier
  33. Maltese
  34. Manchester Terrier
  35. Miniature Pinscher
  36. Miniature Schnauzer
  37. Norfolk Terrier
  38. Norwich Terrier
  39. Papillon
  40. Pekinese
  41. Pomeranian
  42. Poodle
  43. Pug
  44. Poodle (Miniature)
  45. Schipperkee
  46. Scottish Terrier
  47. Sealyham Terrier
  48. Shetland Sheep Dog
  49. Shih Tzu
  50. Silky Terrier
  51. Small Continental Spaniel
  52. Small English Terrier
  53. Small Sptiz
  54. Smooth Fox Terrier
  55. Toy Fox Terrier
  56. Toy Terrier
  57. Tibetan Spaniel
  58. Volpino Italiano
  59. West Highland Terrier
  60. Wire-Haired Fox Terrier
  61. Welsh Terrier
  62. Yorkshire Terrier

Flat owners that keeps an unapproved dog breed or has more than one dog on the premises is considered guilty of breaching the HDB regulation and liable for conviction that can amount to a fine of up to maximum S$ 4,000.00

Meanwhile, it is less fortunate for cat lovers. HDB does not allowed cats to be kept at flats Explanation is that cats are hard to be confine within the flat and can cause nuisance by shedding of their fur, defecating / urinating in public areas and disturbance to the neighbours with their “meows”.