Man fined $5,000 for smuggling bird stuffed in paper packet into Singapore

A Red-whiskered Bulbul was smuggled in a paper packet, which was placed in a drawstring pouch and hidden in a handbag. (PHOTOS: AVA)

A 43-year-old man was fined $5,000 on Wednesday (29 August) for smuggling a bird into Singapore, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA).

A second charge against Hairolhisham Sa’don of failure to ensure that the animal was not subjected to unnecessary suffering was also taken into consideration for sentencing.

Hairolhisham was stopped by officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for checks at Woodlands Checkpoint on 9 February.

During the checks, the officers detected one live Red-whiskered Bulbul cramped in a paper packet, which was placed in a drawstring pouch and hidden in a handbag.

Hairolhisham did not have an import licence issued by the AVA for the import of the bird. The authority also found that the manner of transportation had “caused unnecessary suffering to the bird”, which was seized and placed under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

“Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, such as bird flu, into the country. Travellers are reminded that smuggling animals and birds into Singapore is an offence,” said the AVA.

For his offence, Hairolhisham could have been fined a maximum $10,000 or jailed up to 12 months or both.

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