SINGAPORE - A 24-year-old woman was fined $4,000 for trying to smuggle a live baby sugar glider into Singapore, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Wednesday (May 23).
An officer from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) caught Nur Syahirah Hussein during checks at Woodlands Checkpoint in February this year.
She carried the animal in a red sling pouch.
Sugar gliders are not allowed to be imported as pets. The offender did not have an import licence issued by AVA for the import of animals.
A second charge of failure to ensure that the animal was not subjected to unnecessary suffering was taken into consideration.
The import of animals and birds without a licence is an offence under the Animals and Birds Act.
If convicted, offenders can be jailed for up to 12 months and/or fined up to $10,000.
AVA said the health status of animals that are smuggled into Singapore is unknown and they may introduce exotic diseases into the country.
Sugar gliders are considered wildlife and are not allowed to be kept as pets or sold in Singapore.
Introducing such animals may impact Singapore's local biodiversity if they are inadvertently released.