Think twice the next time you consider bringing home a hedgehog from a market in Malaysia or even in Singapore.
did you know?
It is illegal to sell or advertise for sale, and to keep, the following wild animals as pets in Singapore:
This month, Evolve Asia spotlights ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society), a registered charity and Institution of Public Character (IPC), founded by Singaporeans in 2001.
Tackling the Wildlife Trade
The booming trade in wild animals and their parts- a multi-billion dollar business of which much is illegal- is wiping out the world’s wildlife and subjecting billions of individual animals to unimaginable horrors. Animals are snatched from the wild and cruelly smuggled around the world to be sold as exotic ‘pets’. They are snared, shot and butchered for their body parts to be made into medicines, jewellery or ornaments. In 2009, Singapore was named as one of the top ten major hubs for the illegal wildlife trade globally.
Through their 24-hour Wildlife Crime Hotline (97837782), regular undercover investigations, collaborations with NGOs and government bodies, working with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) industry and public awareness programmes, ACRES is working hard to wipe out the illegal wildlife trade in Singapore and put a major dent in the global trade.
Their investigations have led to many wildlife criminals being brought to task. And their campaigns and engagements with the government have led to vast improvements to national wildlife protection laws.
Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation
Every year, scores of animal are confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Singapore. In 2009, ACRES established the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC), Singapore’s first dedicated wildlife rescue facility, to provide these animals with a safe sanctuary to recover from the trauma of being caught up in the trade. Where possible, animals are repatriated to their native country of origin, but if this isn’t possible the AWRC provides permanent sanctuary.
The AWRC also serves as a rescue facility for injured native wild animals, who are released back to the wild once recovered. Responding to calls on the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline (97837782), we have rescued, treated and rehabilitated hundreds of native wild animals since the AWRC’s opening in August 2009. We run our rescue services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From injured monitor lizards to snakes trapped in buildings to pangolins and civets who have lost their way in the urban jungle, we are always on hand to help any wild animal in need.
Zoo Animal Welfare
Throughout Asia, some animals languish in substandard conditions and impoverished environments in zoos and marine parks, their basic needs neglected. Some zoos fail to meet even the basic standards and guidelines laid out by the zoo industry itself. Animals may be forced to perform unnatural tricks in circus-style animal shows, or find themselves exploited in relentless photography sessions.
ACRES conducts scientific investigations into the welfare of captive animals in zoos, marine parks and similar establishments and uses the findings to work with the zoos themselves and the wider zoo industry, as well as governments and local NGOs, to improve welfare standards.
Humane Education: Touching Hearts and Minds
The majority of widespread animal abuse and exploitation continues because the general public are unaware of it. Raising awareness of these issues through Humane Education programmes and, most importantly, empowering people with knowledge of what they as individuals can do to end animal exploitation, is therefore key to ending animal suffering.
ACRES reaches out to all sectors of society through our various Humane Education Programmes, from kindergarten children to adults. Additionally, our educational resources such as our website, information leaflets, roadshow exhibits and dedicated Education Centre and Outdoor Conservation Classroom expand the reach of our educational efforts even further.
ACRES strongly believes in promoting community involvement in tackling animal welfare issues and in building partnerships with all related bodies to improve animal welfare.
ACRES strives to inspire and empower everyone, from young to old, from all walks of life, to make a positive difference for animals and the environment and to play an active role in the animal protection movement, creating a more caring and compassionate society.
Their Community Outreach Programmes are at the heart of all they do and include providing numerous rewarding volunteer opportunities, involving local companies, distributing grants for animal protection projects, organising conferences and forums, holding awareness roadshows and encouraging people to become involved in global animal protection campaigns.
Promoting Cruelty-Free Living
Many of the everyday products we buy involve enormous animal suffering. Every year hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed in product tests for personal care and household items. Farm animals are raised in their billions on modern “factory farms”, enduring lives of pain and suffering, for meat, eggs and milk. Animals who end up as clothing often suffer tremendously. Most people are simply unaware of this suffering and what they, as consumers, can do to end it.
ACRES maintains a Cruelty-Free Living public awareness programme and educational materials, so that consumers are made aware of cruelty-free products they can buy and the simple humane choices they can make in their everyday lives to reduce animal suffering.
How you can help/