SINGAPORE — An incident involving a boy stepping on two motoro stingrays is being investigated by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS).
In response to queries by Yahoo News Singapore, a senior official at AVS said on Monday (13 June) that the unit of the National Parks Board was alerted to the alleged case of animal cruelty last Tuesday and is investigating the incident.
"Safeguarding animal welfare is a shared social responsibility. While AVS continues to ensure that the necessary enforcement action is taken and raise awareness on animal welfare, members of the public can play a part by promptly reporting suspected cases of animal cruelty to AVS," said AVS group director Jessica Kwok.
Members of the public who have information relating to the incident should contact AVS via www.avs.gov.sg/feedback or its Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600. All information shared will be kept strictly confidential.
An 11-second video of the alleged incident, which has some 1,800 likes as of 8.45pm on Monday, was uploaded by @adminsgfollowsalll on Instagram last Tuesday. The social media account provided no other details on the incident.
In the video, a boy, unmasked and in a blue t-shirt, could be seen stepping on two motoro stingrays and dragging them with his feet. Blood could be seen on the larger of the two stingrays.
Off-camera, two male voices can be heard questioning the boy about his actions.
In Singapore, motoro rays can be legally sold in aquariums, with prices averaging around $40 to $100, and are popular as pets. They can grow up to one metre in body diameter and weigh up to 35kg.
The venomous ray, which is native to South America, has also been spotted in several local freshwater bodies here for a number of years, likely abandoned in the wild by hobbyists.
Since 2009 to 2017, about 30 such rays have been sighted and caught at various reservoirs including at Upper Seletar, Lower Peirce, and MacRitchie. Those caught are not released back into the reservoirs.
Under the Animals and Bird Act, a person who is convicted of animal cruelty can be fined up to $15,000 or face a maximum jail term of 18 months, or both.
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