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ACRES files report with NParks for investigation

February 19th, 2024

Facebook user Joel Lee’s images shared on 17 Feb in the Nature Society Singapore Facebook group reveal a man carrying what seems to be a lifeless chicken through the park. (PHOTO: Joel Lee/FB)

SINGAPORE —The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) has taken action following reports of an alleged incident involving the killing of a wild chicken in a public park in Singapore.

Anbarasi Boopal, co-chief executive officer of ACRES, confirmed with Yahoo Southeast Asia on Monday (19 Feb) that the society had filed a report with National Parks Board (NParks) for investigation after being made aware of the incident through media queries.

The incident was brought to light by Facebook user Joel Lee, who shared images in the Nature Society Singapore Facebook group on Saturday showing a man carrying what appeared to be a lifeless chicken in the unnamed park. Lee’s post raised questions about the legality and consequences of such actions, sparking concern among some wildlife advocates.

The Facebook post sparks questions on legality and consequencesThe Facebook post sparks questions on legality and consequences

The Facebook post sparks questions on legality and consequences, (PHOTO: Joel Lee/FB)

Ensuring compliance and awareness

Bhoopal explained that if the chicken was indeed killed for food, specific regulations must be followed, such as ensuring the premises are licensed with regulations in place for slaughtering.

The ACRES CEO also shed light on the challenges surrounding wildlife management in urban environments.”We have come across one to two cases a year reporting catching of wild fowl by the public, but also culling operations of free-roaming chickens in areas where feeding occurs, due to resident complaints on noise to the town council.”

She also addressed concerns that individuals may not be aware of local legislation protecting wildlife and animals. ACRES said it manages the OWN (Our Wild Neighbours) campaign, funded by Mandai Nature, and has plans already put in place to engage and educate the workforce who frequently encounter wildlife about relevant laws and wildlife etiquette.

Increasing trend of free-roaming chickens

Singapore is home to many free-roaming and wild chickens, primarily found in parks and green spaces. Boopal urged the public to refrain from feeding or capturing these animals, and highlighted the trend of possibly abandoned pet chickens.

“Worryingly, this is an increasing trend as we have even seen chickens such as silkies, Serama chickens and hybrids being found free-roaming, possibly abandoned from being kept as pets.

“We hope that the rampant online trade in chickens and quails is put to an end in Singapore, to address such occurrences,” she added.

According to the Wildlife Act, killing, trapping, or capturing any wildlife without prior approval from the Director-General/Wildlife Management is unlawful. For first-time offenders, individuals can be fined up to S$10,000 and/or jailed for up to six months.

Yahoo Southeast Asia has reached out to NParks and Joel Lee for further information.

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