Since the amendments to the Wildlife Act in June last year, those who feed wildlife will face harsher fines of up to S$5,000 for their first offence.
1 fine issued for feeding of wildlife since June 2020
In Parliament on Jan. 5, Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng Kok Kwang asked the Minister for National Development Desmond Lee about the number of warning letters and fines issued for feeding of wildlife.
This comes after recent reports of incidents involving hornbills and wild boars coming close to people.
Lee replied that since June 2020, the National Parks Board (NParks) has issued 38 warning letters and one fine for the feeding of wildlife.
Ng also asked how many NParks staff are solely focused on enforcing the law against the feeding of wildlife under the Wildlife Act and how many NParks staff focus on enforcing the law against the feeding of wildlife as part of their job scope.
To these questions, Lee responded:
NParks officers from various divisions work together to operationalise the various Acts under NParks' administration. This includes enforcing the law against the feeding of wildlife under the Wildlife Act.
How feeding of wildlife impacts their behaviour
Earlier in the week on Monday (Jan. 4), another MP, Christopher de Souza, asked Lee how residents can play their part to reduce the number of wildlife sightings in residential areas.
Lee responded that feeding by humans encourages wildlife to venture out of their natural habitat, and is the main reason for increased sightings in residential areas.
Unintentional provision of food, either through improper waste management or littering, can also attract wildlife to residential areas, said Lee.
Lee also replied to another question from de Souza, saying that NParks is working closely with other public agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations and academic institutions on public education:
"For example, NParks works with stakeholders to develop educational resources, signs, and outreach initiatives to advise the community on how to respond to wildlife sightings, and to raise public awareness on the negative impact of feeding wildlife. In addition, NParks partners NEA, SFA, Town Councils, and Resident and Neighbourhood Committees, to educate the community on proper refuse management."
NParks also monitors feeding hotspots and takes enforcement action when necessary and works with the Town Councils to ensure proper food waste management, said Lee.
He added that everyone can co-exist with wildlife harmoniously by not feeding wildlife, keeping our residential areas clean, and appreciating wildlife from a safe distance.
To report wildlife feeding, members of the public can call the 24-hour Animal Response Centre helpline at 1800-476-1600.
Top images via CNA and Teoh Chee Boon/Facebook.