S'porean man fined S$2,000 for illegally keeping 25 chickens in Pasir Ris HDB flat for profit

Illegal to rear chickens in HDB flat without licence.

Belmont Lay | August 19, 2021, 07:14 PM

A 50-year-old man in Singapore was fined S$2,000 for keeping 25 chickens in his HDB flat as it constituted maintaining a farm without a license.

The chickens were meant to be adopted but they were used to turn profit for the farmer.

The more than two dozen chickens in a flat were also more than the 10 that is currently allowed.

Putting chickens up for adoption for profit

The transactions involved exchanging chickens for money, where the adopters would pay S$79.80 to take home two young chicks and a packet of poultry feed from the accused, Eric Woo Yoke Meng.

Woo would first collect chicken eggs from members of a Facebook group he runs, hatch those eggs, and raise the chickens before passing them back to the adopters for adoption.

Woo sold each packet of poultry feed for S$39.90.

But the adopters must return one packet of poultry feed to support Woo’s breeding programme and use the other packet to feed the adopted chickens.

It was revealed in court that Woo bought each packet of poultry feed at S$25 from a retailer.

Woo kept a number of ornamental chickens.

Pleaded guilty

The poultry-keeping club he runs is called “Fowl Mouthed Family”.

Woo pleaded guilty on Aug. 18 to one count of maintaining a farm without a license.

A charge of keeping more than 10 non-commercial poultry in a premise, and one charge of using his premises as a pet shop without a license, were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

NParks tipped off

National Parks Board (NParks) was tipped off by a a member of the public about Woo selling packets of poultry feed to those who adopted the chickens from him.

NParks officers visited Woo’s five-room Pasir Ris flat on July 9, 2020 and found 25 chickens kept in two enclosures and a plastic container.

NParks investigations discovered that he was disguising the sale of chickens with the purchase of the poultry feed at a profit.

Woo had previously claimed the sale proceeds were to support the breeding programme and fund group events.

NParks also said he did not have any licence from the Director-General of Animal Health and Welfare to keep and distribute the 25 chickens for commercial purposes at his flat.

The father of two created the Foul Mouthed Family Facebook group in July 2018, which is now a private group with 3,000 or so members, to publicise poultry ownership.

For keeping an unlicensed farm, Woo could have been jailed up to a year, and/or fined up to S$10,000.

Top photo via Shin Min Daily News