An offence to keep snakes as pets

SINGAPORE - The Year of the Snake may be around the corner, but snake lovers should take note that it is an offence to keep, import or sell them as pets in Singapore.

In addition, many species of snakes are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and it is an offence to import, export, re-export or have in transit any such snakes and their parts or products without a permit.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) stressed this in a statement yesterday, adding that it has handled 72 cases of illegal trade and possession of live snakes and their parts or products since the last Year of the Snake in 2001.

In that year, seven cases were reported, with 46 live snakes seized.

The most number of live snakes seized in a year was in 2002, when 95 snakes were seized in 10 cases. So far this year, one case has been reported and AVA said it is investigating it.

Some commonly seized snakes are the ball python, boa constrictor, Burmese python, milk snake and reticulated python.

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