Man who kept 25 chickens in flat fined for operating unlicensed farm

·Senior Reporter
·2 min read
Woo with his
Eric Woo with his "mini Cochins", Coco (left) and Kiki. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A man who kept 25 chickens kept in his HDB flat was fined $2,000 for maintaining a farm without a license.

Eric Woo Yoke Meng had run a poultry-keeping club known as “Fowl Mouthed Family” and had kept numerous ornamental chickens himself.

The 50-year-old Singaporean was fined after he pleaded guilty on Wednesday (18 August) to one count of maintaining a farm without a license, which is a breach under the Animals and Birds (Licensing of Farms) Rules. 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 for his sentencing.

The court heard that the National Parks Board (NParks) received feedback from a member of the public about Woo selling packets of poultry feed to those who adopted the chickens from him.

On 9 July last year, NParks officers visited Woo’s Pasir Ris flat and found 25 chickens kept in two enclosures and a plastic container.

Woo, a father of two who lives in a five-room flat, had formed the Foul Mouthed Family Facebook group in July 2018 in order to promote the ownership of and interest in poultry. A check of the Facebook group showed that it is private, and has about 3,000 members to date.

Woo would collect chicken eggs from the members, hatch them and grow the chickens before letting his members adopt them in exchange for buying two packets of poultry feed at $39.90 each from him.

However, 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.

Hence, the adopters would take home two young chicks and a packet of poultry feed after paying $79.80 to Woo.

Woo admitted that he bought each packet of poultry feed at $25 from a retailer.

NParks investigations also found that he was disguising the sale of chickens with the purchase of the poultry feed at a profit, even though he claimed that the sale proceeds were to support the breeding programme and fund group events.

He did not have any licence issued by the Director-General of Animal Health and Welfare to keep the 25 chickens for commercial purposes at his flat, or to use his flat for the distribution of the chickens, said NParks.

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

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