MP Louis Ng Introduced Bill to Amend Wild Animals and Birds Act
Member of Parliament (MP) Louis introduced his first Private Member’s Bill proposing tougher measures to protect Singapore’s wildlife through amendments to the Wild Animals and Birds Act (WABA). Here is his speech during the first reading.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, ‘That leave be given to introduce a Bill intituled ‘An Act to amend the Wild Animals and Birds Act (Chapter 351 of the 2000 Revised Edition).’
Sir, after more than two years of work by the Wild Animals Legislation Review Committee (WALRC), I’m proud to say that we are now ready to move the Bill.
The WALRC comprise of representatives from the nature community, animal welfare community, the Singapore Pest Management Association, the Pet Enterprise and Traders Association of Singapore, the Buddhist Federation, academic and legal community, and the Nee Soon East Youth Network.
It has been a privilege chairing this committee and having meetings where we argue passionately, agree to disagree and work together so that we have a stronger piece of legislation.
We conducted extensive public consultations over the past two years. We started with a face-to-face public consultation, followed by an online consultation on REACH where we received over a thousand responses. This was followed by another round of face-to-face public consultation. We also held closed-door consultations with the pest management companies and separately with religious leaders and also obtain feedback from the MND GPC members. Later this month, we will publish a post-consultation summary on REACH.
I thank the WALRC for their hard work. I’m also thankful for the strong support and help from MND and NParks.
Mr. Speaker, this Bill seeks to strengthen the protection, preservation and management of wildlife for the purposes of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and safeguarding of public safety and health.
In particular, it seeks to
• Control the feeding and release of wildlife in Singapore
• Enable the Director-General, Wildlife Management of NParks to require wildlife-related measures to be implemented to address the impact of developments or works in relation to wildlife
• Introduce new offences and enhance criminal penalties in the Act
• Enhance enforcement powers in the Act.
Mr. Speaker, this is a Bill drafted by the people with feedback and suggestions from the people. As such, I’m happy to introduce this Bill on behalf of the people and animals.
I’ve waited a long time to say this. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move.