Poaching is the illegal taking of wild animals from their natural habitat.

In Singapore, the animals most commonly being poached appear to be birds for the pet trade (such as spotted doves, zebra doves, bulbuls and shamas), and also monitor lizards, pangolins and wild boars for their meat.

Some other types of animals, such as macaques or squirrels, may be taken from the wild by some people to be kept as pets.

Poaching can occur in any of Singapore’s green areas, including nature reserves and parks. Poaching activities have also been documented in areas around HDB flats and natural areas just outside the city.

Poachers trap animals using different types of equipment, including snares, traps, cages and nets.

Poaching and the law

Removal of most species of wild animal from the wild in any areas is against the law in Singapore under the Wildlife Act.

Additionally, wild animals in national parks and nature reserves get extra protection under the Parks and Trees Act 2005, which prohibits the poaching of any animals in these areas.

For full details of laws in Singapore relating to poaching, please click here: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/WA1965#pr5C-

How do I know when poaching activity is going on?

If you spot any traps, snares and nets, these are a sure sign that poaching is taking place. These may be positioned on the ground or hanging from the branches of trees. You may even find trapped animals. You might also hear a high volume of bird calls in a particular spot, which can be coming from trapped birds.

Bird poachers are most likely to be active in the mornings and evenings, as this is when birds are most active.

You can see some of the traps that poachers use in the following photographs:

What do I do if I see poaching activities?

1. Collect information

Take photographs and, if possible, video evidence of the traps, any animals caught in the traps, and the poachers themselves. If the poachers are using a vehicle, note the license plate number and take a photograph of it.

2. Call the authorities

If you are sure that you are inside a protected area, such as a national park or nature reserve, alert the National Parks Board (Nparks) rangers immediately by calling their Hotline 1800 471 7300.

If you are not able to contact Nparks, you may contact the ACRES Wildlife Crime Hotline on +65 9783 7782. Please note that, although we are not an enforcement agency, we will come to the site and wait for the authorities to arrive if you are unable to wait.

3. Do not release any trapped animals yourself. Wait until the authorities arrive.

4. Do not leave the site until the authorities arrive.

Try to not let the poachers leave and take their traps. If they do leave but leave their traps behind, stay with the traps until the authorities come and remove them. If you must leave, please call the ACRES Wildlife Crime Hotline on +65 9783 7782 and we will come to the site and wait for the authorities to arrive.

5. In an effort to assist the authorities with clamping down on illegal poaching activities, ACRES keeps records of poaching activities in Singapore.

Please forward your evidence of poaching activities to ACRES for documentation purposes at acrescrime@gmail.com.

The laws regarding poaching in Singapore and penalties for breaking the law

Feeding of wildlife

5A.—(1)  A person must not intentionally feed any wildlife in any place unless the person has the Director‑General’s written approval to do so.

(2)  A person who has the Director-General’s written approval mentioned in subsection (1) must comply with the conditions of the approval.
(3)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction —

(a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $5,000; and
(b) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Releasing of wildlife

5B.—(1)  A person must not intentionally release any wildlife in any place unless the person has the Director‑General’s written approval to do so.

(2)  A person who has the Director‑General’s written approval mentioned in subsection (1) must comply with the conditions of the approval.
(3)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.

Killing, trapping, taking or keeping of wildlife

5C.—(1)  A person must not intentionally kill, trap, take or keep any wildlife in any place unless the person has the Director‑General’s written approval to do so.

(2)  A person who has the Director‑General’s written approval mentioned in subsection (1) must comply with the conditions of the approval.
(3)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction —

(a) in the case where the offence is committed in respect of a protected wildlife, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both; and
(b) in any other case —

(i) where the person commits the offence in the course of carrying on, or employment or purported employment with, an animal‑related business, to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both; and
(ii) in any other case —

(A) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both; and
(B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

Laws regarding Wildlife Act.

Click here for more details:

https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/WA1965#pr5C- 

Laws regarding parks and trees.

Click here for more details:

https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/PTA2005