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Victor Loh
Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014

Singapore

Online seller of illegally imported meat from China fined $8,400

AsiaOne | Victor Loh | Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014

This photo taken on April 14, 2013 shows a duckling trying to climb out of a basket in a duck farm in Zhangzhou, south China's Fujian province. The duck farm has had to kill more than 400 thousand new born little ducks every week after H7N9 bird flu affected the domestic poultry market.

SINGAPORE - A woman who was selling meat products from China online to a Singaporean audience has been fined $8,400 in court on Tuesday for the illegal imports.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a statement that it received public feedback in August regarding the online sale of meat products, such as duck, beef and chicken.

AVA officers then posed as buyers to purchase meat products from the seller, and later seized 52.8 kg of assorted meat products from China from the seller's residence.

Further investigations revealed that the woman had been illegally importing and selling meat products from China, online since May 2014.

AVA also worked with Singapore Customs to intercept and detain an incoming consignment imported by the woman, at the port in the same month.

The detained consignment, which contained 85.68 kg of assorted meat products, will be destroyed.

In the statement, AVA emphasised the importance of food import regulations for animal health and food safety reasons.

"For example, poultry can only be imported from countries which are free from bird flu," AVA explained.

"China is not an approved source for the import of meat, meat products, poultry and poultry products."

While Singapore is currently free from bird flu, the disease, which is highly infectious among poultry, is endemic in the region.

"Bird flu outbreaks in other countries have led to massive deaths and culling of poultry and birds. Singapore has several poultry and bird farms which are put at risk from such illegal imports," AVA said.

"We would like to remind the public that meat and meat products can only be brought back from approved sources.

"The public should also be aware of the risks associated with consuming food items purchased online as it may not have undergone checks by AVA."

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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