SINGAPORE: A Bill to amend the Wild Animals and Birds Act was introduced in Parliament on Friday (Mar 4), with stiff penalties for the feeding, releasing or trapping and killing wildlife.
Introduced by Nee Soon Member of Parliament Louis Ng, the amended Bill seeks to strengthen the protection, preservation and management of wildlife for the purposes of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and safeguarding of public safety and health.
These amendments are the result of more than two years of work by the Wild Animals Legislation Review Committee, said Mr Ng.
Under the amended Bill, between S$5,000 and S$10,000 in fines may be imposed on people who feed and release non-protected wildlife without approval.
Failure to comply with the director-general of wildlife management from the National Parks Board (NParks) directions on wildlife-related measures for development or works would also constitute an offence, with a S$50,000 fine and/or six months’ jail. This is applicable only to non-protected species.
Existing penalties for animal-related offences will also be enhanced.
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Those who kill, trap, take or keep non-protected wildlife without approval face a S$10,000 fine and/or six months’ jail for their first offence, compared with the current penalty of S$1,000.
Repeat offenders face a S$20,000 fine and/or 12 months’ jail, while those who target protected wildlife face a S$50,000 fine and/or two years’ jail.
The setting of spring guns, and offering for sale, selling, exporting or importing of wildlife without approval will also see enhanced fines and jail terms.
The Bill was a result of “extensive public consultations” over the past two years, which included face-to-face and online consultations. The online consultations garnered more than 1,000 responses.
Consultations were also held with pest management companies, religious leaders and the Ministry of National Development’s Government Parliamentary Committee.
The committee includes groups such as the Singapore Pest Management Association, the Pet Enterprise and Traders Association of Singapore, the Buddhist Federation, academic and legal community and the Nee Soon East Youth Network.
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“This is a Bill drafted by the people with feedback and suggestions from the people”, said Mr Ng.
“I’m happy to introduce this Bill on behalf of the people and the animals.”
Speaking to CNA, Mr Ng said that the aim of the amendments is to address “a lot of gaps” in the current Bill.
“If you look at the Bill, we’ve more or less rewritten the whole Bill. We included a lot of new sections that were not existing previously, not just increasing the penalties.
“Over the last five years, a lot of things I’ve spoken up about are now put into this Bill, so that we can now legislate it,” he said.