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Fri 29 Oct 2004

Laurence Kuah illustrates: fines for animal abuse, smuggling too low

Category : animalwelfare

Chief Justice Yong Pung Ho called Laurence Kuah Kok Choon 'an international smuggler of birds of endangered species' in November 2000.

Now a farm licensed by Indah Fauna Breeding and Research in the convicted smuggler's name is found with 600 animals. Supposedly overseas, two maids were left to care for them. The New Paper alerted the AVA.

Of the 106 dogs found, fewer than 10 were roaming freely. 'AVA's centre for animal welfare and control, 37-year veteran K Madhavan, has not seen such bad breeding conditions for dogs.' "'I've not seen something like this, not on this scale. Usually there are only 10 to 20 dogs in poor condition,' he said."

'Amongs the other animals were 44 highly endangered species - Black Palm Cockatoos, Bali Mynahs, Great Indian Hornbills and Moluccan Cockatoos - species listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).'

"There was also a leopard cat, three skinks (a kind of lizard), three crocodile lizards and two softshell turtles."

Laurence Kuah was convicted of animal smuggling or smugling related activities in 1994 (then aged 20, fined A$10,500), 1996 (fined $3,200), 1997 ($6,300), 1999 (fined $10,000), 2000 ($10,000 and 1 year's jail). Animals involved in these cases suffered.

Animal abuse is punishable by up to one year's jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

It doesn't seem to be enough of a deterrent.

AVA officers last checked the premises in late August. They need a law with more severe penalties to back them up.

Read teh complete article, "100 dogs living in urine and filth," by Teh Jen Lee Jen Lee, The New Paper, 28 Oct 2004.

Posted at 2:10AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news