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Puppies uncovered on 9 September 2014.

On our Toes against Rabies: Combating Animal Smuggling

Strict border control helps ensure that rabies and other animal diseases are not introduced into Singapore through illegal importation.

Border control is an integral part of AVA’s animal import regulation. AVA officers inspect the health status as well as import and veterinary documentations of animals upon their arrival in Singapore. Where necessary, these animals may be quarantined, for us to ascertain that they are healthy.

AVA also works closely with relevant agencies, such as Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), to safeguard Singapore from illegal imports of animals. Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status. In the case of dogs and cats, the foremost concern is rabies. In addition, smugglers often transport animals in harsh conditions that do not comply with AVA’s guidelines.

The puppies are currently being quarantined and will be re-homed.

On 9 September 2014, ICA detected an illegal import of 13 puppies in at the Woodlands Checkpoint. These puppies were kept in black cloth bags under seats of a Singapore-registered car, as well as in the glove box. AVA’s investigation showed that the puppies had been sedated and were not transported in accordance to AVA’s guidelines, which require pets to be transported into Singapore in containers that comply with the International Air Transport Association standards.

A Singaporean woman was charged in court for smuggling and cruelty against these 13 puppies, and was found guilty on 5 November 2014. She was sentenced to four months and one month in jail, respectively, for these charges. Both sentences will be concurrently carried out.

The puppies are currently quarantined at AVA’s Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) to be observed for clinical signs of infectious or contagious disease, especially rabies. After quarantine requirements are fulfilled, these puppies will be re-homed.

Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore’s security. In view of the potential danger of introducing infectious animal diseases into Singapore, we advise the public against the smuggling of animals, animal products, meat, and meat products into Singapore.