In November 2004, ACRES launched its ‘Wild But Not Free’ campaign, encouraging Singaporeans to help put an end to the illegal exotic pet trade in Singapore.
The illegal exotic pet trade is rampant in Southeast Asia, with Singapore playing a central role in the trading of these illegally traded and mostly protected species of wild animals.
Most wild animals are prohibited as pets in Singapore. The list of prohibited species includes primates, most other mammals, amphibians, reptiles (except the red-eared slider and the Malayan box turtle), many species of birds and some types of fish. It is illegal to import, export, or introduce these species without a permit. The sale or even display of these animals is an offence under Singapore law.
However, some pet shops in Singapore are still involved in the trading of these prohibited species, and many wild animals remain in the hands of private owners.