A carpenter is behind bars after attempting to smuggle a bundle of puppies and kittens over an international border in a secret car compartment.
Some of the dogs, which the man tried to smuggle from Malaysia to Singapore to pay off debt, died within weeks and one of the kittens was found in a nylon bag.
Wong Cai Long, 25, stored the animals in the compartment measuring 65cm by 51cm by 11.5cm and caused 'unnecessary suffering'. Five puppies died as a result of bacterial pneumonia and would have suffered breathing problems.
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In total he attempted to smuggle ten puppies and three kittens before being caught at a checkpoint during a routine inspection, reports Singaporean newspaper The Straights Times.
Five charges were for importing an animal without a licence and five for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the animal was not confined and moved in a way that subjected it to unnecessary suffering. Sixteen similar charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.
A vet said the way the five puppies that died were transported caused them unnecessary suffering.
National Parks Board prosecutor Shafiuddin Ong said all 13 animals tested positive for highly contagious viruses that are transmitted via faecal-oral contact and cause gastrointestinal disease in dogs and cats.
He added the environment in the vehicle’s compartment likely facilitated the spreading of the virus, saying the animals would have experienced restricted movement and discomfort.
“The said five animals were transported in cramped conditions, and the animals would have experienced discomfort because of restricted movement, inability to adopt natural positions," he said, adding: "Being placed together with other animals in such confined conditions also poses the risk of injury through jostling."
The 13 animals were sent to the AVS Animal Quarantine Centre for microchipping, physical examination and quarantine. A 12-week old Pomeranian died four days after being found.
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