SINGAPORE - A pet farm licensee was fined $180,000 on Wednesday (June 7) after failing to ensure the health and well-being of eight dogs under his care.
Two of them have since died, but it could not be determined if their deaths were due to his offences.
Edwin Tan Guowei, 29, who ran Top Breed Pet Farm at Pasir Ris Farmway 2, will be jailed for a year if he is unable to pay the full fine.
He was also disqualified from carrying out any animal-related businesses for six months.
Tan still has about 180 dogs in his possession and the court ordered him to either sell or re-home them within two months from Wednesday. The dogs cannot be disposed to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
On May 24, he pleaded guilty to six counts of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the dogs were protected from and rapidly diagnosed of any significant injuries or diseases.
Another two counts for similar offences and three other animal-related charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Selene Yap said Top Breed Pet Farm conducted activities such as breeding and selling puppies, and Tan had been its licensee since 2015.
On March 9, last year, AVA officers conducted a surprise inspection there and noted the poor condition of eight breeding dogs - five male and three female. They include four shih tzus, a husky and a pomeranian.
DPP Yap said: "(The AVA officers) noted that some of the dogs appeared to have several types of chronic eye conditions of varying degrees, severe generalised skin disease and poor body condition. The accused was instructed to bring the dogs to the vet for treatment immediately and to produce the vet report during the next inspection."
A male bulldog for instance, according to veterinarian Javan Fan, had corneal swelling in the right eye and thickened skin with scabs over its head and body.
The male husky had poor body condition with muscle wastage. The court also heard it had open wounds on its left hind leg.
DPP Yap also told District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan that one of the female shih tzus had a discoloured right eye with alopecia or hair loss.
Dr Fan later conducted a follow-up inspection of the dogs on July 13, last year.
According to his observation, three of the dogs, including the bulldog, showed some improvements.
However, the shih tzu and the husky could not be inspected as they had earlier died.
For each count of failing to ensure the well-being of a dog, Tan could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $40,000.