5 puppies, 3 kittens rescued in first smuggling case of 2024, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

5 puppies, 3 kittens rescued in first smuggling case of 2024

Five puppies and three kittens were found during a vehicle inspection at Woodlands Checkpoint on Jan 10, in what is the first case of animal smuggling detected in 2024.

The National Parks Board (NParks) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a joint statement on Jan 23 that the animals were found hidden in the car’s spare tyre compartment. A 42-year-old driver has been arrested.

Less than one month ago, ICA officers detected two separate smuggling attempts on Dec 27, 2023. Five puppies were found hidden in the boot of a vehicle, while five kittens were found under the seats of another vehicle.

Both drivers and another three people were arrested by NParks officers in those cases.

NParks said the cases are under investigation.

More than 30 cases of pet animal and wildlife smuggling were detected by NParks and partner agencies in 2023.

NParks said that since 2021, it has seized 180 wildlife specimens in cases which involved suspects who had advertised these animals for sale through online platforms such as Telegram. Many of these animals were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Cites-protected species are not allowed to be sold, offered for sale or kept as pets in Singapore.

Under the Animals and Birds Act, a first-time offender found guilty of importing any animal or bird without a licence may be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to 12 months, or both.

Those found guilty of illegally trading Cites-protected species may be fined up to $100,000 per specimen and be jailed up to six years.

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