6 wild animals sold illegally at Sungei Tengah farm seized by AVA

The wild animals, including an endangered slow loris, were seized by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in July 2018.
The wild animals, including an endangered slow loris, were seized by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in July 2018.PHOTO: AGRI-FOOD & VETERINARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
The wild animals, including four false map turtles, were seized by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in July 2018.
The wild animals, including four false map turtles, were seized by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in July 2018.PHOTO: AGRI-FOOD & VETERINARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
The wild animals, including an ornate pacman frog, were seized by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in July 2018.
The wild animals, including an ornate pacman frog, were seized by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in July 2018.PHOTO: AGRI-FOOD & VETERINARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Six wild animals, including an endangered slow loris, were rescued from a farm in Sungei Tengah by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

They were put up for sale illegally at the farm when the AVA seized them in July, the authority told The Straits Times on Tuesday evening (Sept 4).

The other animals found were an ornate pacman frog and four false map turtles.

AVA said it seized the animals and handed them over to Wildlife Reserves Singapore for rehoming. The farm is assisting AVA with investigations, the authority added.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) said that it had alerted the AVA after receiving a tip-off.

Commercial trade of the endangered slow loris is strictly prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Under the same convention, the false map turtle, native to the United States, can only be traded with either Cites permits or certificates of origin.

The ornate pacman frog is not listed under Cites.

Those convicted of keeping wild animals here can be fined up to $1,000 and have to surrender the illegally kept wildlife.

If the wildlife species is protected under Cites, offenders in possession of such animals or found selling the illegally imported protected species can be fined as much as $500,000, jailed up to two years, or both, and will also have to forfeit the concerned animals.

In its reply, the AVA said that all of the speciesseized in the operation are not allowed to be kept as pets in Singapore.

"Wild animals are not suitable pets as they are not domesticated. The welfare of the wild animals would be affected as they are subjected to unsuitable living conditions, as well as poor diet and care," the authority said.

It added that some may also transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if not managed well.

Non-native wild animals would pose a threat to our native biodiversity if released into the environment, AVA said.

The authority said that the public can help reduce demand for such animals by not buying illegal wildlife and their parts or products.

"The public can also alert AVA via our online feedback form regarding any suspected cases of illegal wildlife trade, and provide information," AVA said.

Such information may include the suspected person or company involved, or the type of products that are suspected to have been smuggled, advertised or offered for sale.

Information shared with AVA will be kept strictly confidential, it added.