Best of our wild blogs: 23 Oct 14

Picnic At Upper Pierce Reservoir (22 Oct 2014)
from Beetles@SG BLOG

Albino plantain squirrel
from Bird Ecology Study Group

21/2014 – Segar Nature Trail (18 October 2014)
from Bugs & Insects of Singapore

Insights on the Circular Economy in Singapore
from Green Future Solutions

Demand for rhino horn drops 38 percent in Vietnam after advertising campaigns
from news by Jeremy Hance

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10 ideas to make Singapore more bike-friendly and walkable

Channel NewsAsia 22 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: In order to make Singapore a more friendly place for walking and biking, urban design and planning need to be focused on people, rather than automobiles which was prevalent in the past century, a new study revealed.

This fundamental change in how urban cities are designed is required in order to create a walkable, bikeable space, according to the study by Urban Land Institute and Centre for Liveable Cities, which was released on Wednesday (Oct 22).

The Creating Healthy Places through Active Mobility report offered 10 ideas to make cities more walkable, bikeable and people-friendly:

• Make walking and cycling convenient and efficient, integrating them into public transit systems

• Provide dedicated space for all forms of transportation

• Ensure high visibility at junctions to improve safety

• Maintain continuity of movement

• Keep motorised traffic slow in high pedestrian areas

• Make street-level crossings a priority

• Ensure consistency in design standards throughout the city

• Make walking and cycling paths comfortable and attractive (for example, shady trees help shield people from heat, sun and rain)

• Mix up the land uses adjacent to the routes; mixed-use developments are conducive to walking and cycling as an easy way to get from one place to another

• Close the loop with end-of-trip amenities such as shower facilities, lockers and bicycle parking

The study is the result of research that began in November 2013. The process involved engaging the community through two workshops in which participants from the private sector, Government and civic groups discussed perceptions, issues and ideas on active mobility in Singapore and sought to identify potential improvements. It also involved a cycling tour of Ang Mo Kio led by renowned Danish architect and urban designer Jan Gehl.

“The release of the ‘Active Mobility’ research study is the result of bringing together a diverse group of people to discuss land development issues within high-density cities,” said former ULI Singapore Chairman and AECOM Southeast Asia Vice President Scott Dunn, who worked with CLC representatives to prepare the report.

“Our hope is that the report will be used as a reference point for decision-makers in other tropical cities as well as other cities facing similar challenges,” he added.

- CNA/kk

Cycling should be viable transport option in Singapore: Khaw
Eileen Poh Channel NewsAsia 22 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan says cycling should be a viable transport option in Singapore for short trips to places like the supermarket, coffee shop, hawker centre or the nearest MRT station. For this to happen, such trips should be made safe and pleasant.

In a blog post titled "4 Wheels Good, 2 Wheels and 2 Feet Even Better" on Wednesday (22 Oct), Mr Khaw noted that Singapore is "quite walkable", with good pavements along most roads, pedestrian priority at traffic junctions and sheltered walkways.

"But we are not perfect. In fact, some cities, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, have raised active mobility to a higher level. Walking and cycling as modes of transport have been honed to be the normal way of life. In these cities, they make up more than half of the modes of transport," he wrote.

"Bench-marked against them, we are way behind."

Cycling, he said, merely makes up one to two per cent of transport modes here. "We must now go beyond cycling for recreation," he added.

Mr Khaw highlighted initiatives such as the National Cycling Plan, which envisions a cycling network of 700km by 2030.

Next year, 100km of intra-town cycling paths in Yishun, Punggol and Bedok would have been developed. Eventually, all 26 public housing towns will have similar networks to connect homes to neighbourhood centres and MRT stations.

At the same time, the government is exploring bike sharing schemes, as well as increasing safety education programmes, such as the Safe Cycling Programme for Youth for secondary school students.

Mr Khaw's remarks came as the Centre for Liveable Cities and US-based Urban Land Institute on Wednesday launched a publication detailing recommendations to make Singapore more walkable and bicycle-friendly.

The strategies include integrating walking and cycling into public transport systems, installing amenities such as shower facilities, lockers and bicycle parking lots, and planting more trees to shield pedestrians and cyclists from the heat.

- CNA/by/xq

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Malaysia: Johor Forestry officers queried

HALIM SAID New Straits Times 23 Oct 14;

KOTA TINGGI: THE Johor Forestry Department is being probed over extensive illegal logging traced near a dam which is under construction.

After months of surveillance at the Seluyut Forest Reserve here, 26 Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission enforcers zoomed in on Tuesday, raiding a kongsi shared by about 20 foreigners who were involved in the activity.

The workers, who were here illegally, were handed over to the Immigration Department.

A man, in his 50s, who had been supervising the illegal immigrants, tried to bribe the officers with RM3,000 in cash on condition that the foreigners be freed. He, too, was arrested.

The MACC is now investigating several state Forestry officers for possible involvement in the illegal felling of trees which had put the forest reserve under threat of destruction.

MACC senior assistant commissioner Ruslan Che Ahmad, who led the operation, told the New Straits Times that MACC was tipped off by the public who claimed that the activity had been carried out extensively since several months ago.

“There were piles and piles of timbers found at the forest together with the presence of heavy machinery and vehicles.

“We want to know who had authorised the felling of forest trees in this protected zone.”

Initial investigations showed that a company was given a licence to clear the 39.94ha forest reserve to make way for the construction of the dam.

However, the company was believed to have defied the licensing conditions by starting the logging activity even before the approved date on Oct 15.

“We want to know whether the Johor Forestry Department is aware of what is taking place in the forest reserve and why no action has been taken so far.” said Ruslan.

Meanwhile, sources close to the MACC said at least eight enforcement officers, including Forestry rangers, were held in Sarawak to assist in their investigations into similar activities reported in several districts in the state.

It is understood that MACC may be making more arrests nationwide to put a stop to illegal logging activities.

Man caught in illegal logging claims trial to bribing police
New Straits Times 22 Oct 14;

KUCHING: A managing director of a plantation company claimed trial at the Special Court for Corruption here today for attempting to bribe a police officer who had caught him for committing illegal logging.

Ling Sing Ching, 50, was charged with corruptly offering RM2,000 to ASP Mohd Mazlan Mohd Ariff as an inducement for the latter not to take action against him.

The offence was allegedly committed at a restaurant at Lorong Lapangan Terbang here at 4.45pm on Sept 4 this year.

Judge Nixon Kennedy Kumbong allowed Ling bail of RM10,000 in one surety and set Nov 24 to 26 to hear the case.

Prosecuting officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Ikhwan Mohd Ibrahim prosecuted, while Ling was represented by lawyer Francis Wee.

In the same court, a 52-year-old police sergeant pleaded not guilty to a charge of accepting a RM1,500 bribe from a traffic offender.

Zainudin Samad, who is attached to the traffic branch of the Kota Samarahan district police, was accused of corruptly accepting the money from one Rano Paiman, whom had earlier being booked for careless driving. Kumbong ordered Zainudin to be released on bail of RM10,000 in one surety and set Nov 17 for hearing. Ikhwan also prosecuted in the case, while Zainudin was represented by counsel Abd Rahman Mohd Hazmi. - BERNAMA

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Will coal exports kill the Great Barrier Reef?

Jon Donnison BBC News 22 Oct 14;

"An icon under pressure." That was how Australia's Great Barrier Reef was described recently by the body that manages it.

Stretching along the Queensland coast, the reef is an underwater wonderland home to thousands of different fish and coral species. But it is facing multiple threats.

Swathes of coral have been killed by the crown-of-thorns, a starfish which has flourished partly because of fertilisers seeping into the sea from farm run-off.

Extreme weather has also damaged the reef, while increased carbon in the atmosphere has made the water too acidic, leading to coral bleaching.

Reef that was once blooming is now grey, crumbling and barren.

"It's never been worse," says David Booth, professor of marine ecology at the University of Technology in Sydney. "There's been a slow but steady degradation of the reef. Around half the coral has been destroyed in the last few decades."

But environmentalists say there's another major threat: coal.

Queensland is Australia's biggest coal-producing state. Up and down the coast there are huge coal ports fed by kilometres-long trains that lumber in from the big mines inland.

The scale of the mining operation in Queensland is striking - and growing.

Great Barrier Reef
Stretches about 2,500 km (1,553 miles) along the eastern Queensland coast, covering an area the size of Great Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands combined.
Made up of a network of 3,000 individual reef systems, islands, islets and sandbars
Home to more than 1,500 different species of fish, 400 species of coral, 4,000 species of mollusc and hundreds of bird species.
Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the only living thing on earth visible from space.
A Unesco World Heritage site - Unesco is also considering listing it as endangered.
In July, the government approved a project that will lead to the creation of Australia's biggest coal mine in the Galilee Basin region of central Queensland.

The Carmichael Mine, owned by the Indian conglomerate Adani, will cover an area seven times the size of Sydney harbour.

When the A$16bn (£9.9bn; $16bn) project is developed, the plan is to export 60 million tonnes of coal each year to India, for 60 years.

The coal industry here believes India, with its massive and fast-growing population, is the new China.

"While the rest of the world demands our coal, we will supply it," says Michael Roche, chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council.

"If we don't, one of the other hundred countries around the world that produce coal will supply the coal."

Australia already exports around a million tonnes of coal every single day. A good proportion of it is shipped out through the Great Barrier Reef.

Looking out from the hilltop above the Hay Point Coal terminal near Mackay you can see more than a dozen huge coal ships queuing to pick up their cargo.

To accommodate those ships many of the coal ports are having to be expanded. Shipping channels are being dredged to make way for bigger boats.

The most controversial project is at Abbot Point, just north of the town of Bowen.

Earlier this year the government approved a plan to dredge the port, dumping thousands of tonnes of sediment at sea.

Environmentalists have been outraged, saying the sediment will further damage the reef.

"At dredging sites, we found more than twice as much coral disease than at our control sites," says Joe Pollock.

He is from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, which carried out the first study on the impact of dredging activity on the reef.

"Corals require both light and food to survive and unfortunately, dredging impacts corals on two fronts: increased turbidity (cloudiness in the water) means less light for photosynthesis, while increased levels of sediment falling onto the coral can interfere with their ability to feed."

Following pressure, the Queensland state government has now put forward a proposal to dump the dredged sediment from the Abbot Point project on land rather than at sea, although no final decision has yet been made.

The mining industry says the dangers are being overplayed, arguing far greater quantities of sediment are washed into the ocean naturally from Queensland's river system.

"Don't believe what some of the NGOs are saying," says Michael Roche of the Queensland Resources Council.

"The NGOs are putting out stories about the reef. They're not trying to save the reef. They're trying to stop the coal industry. It's a good emotional campaign to use in their campaign against hydrocarbons."

At the moment, it does not seem to be a campaign those NGOs are winning. The current government is a great champion of coal.

"Let's have no demonisation of coal," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said earlier this month as he opened the Caval Ridge coalmine in central Queensland.

"Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia and right around the world."

It is words such as this that have made Mr Abbott a hate figure for environmentalists.

David Hannan, one of the world's leading underwater cameramen, has been filming the reef for decades. He is also involved with a group campaigning to protect it, having witnessed the way it has changed.

"It's suicidal when you've got reef systems on the edge anyway, to be putting any more pressures on them. It's that simple."

People like Mr Hannan accuse the government of short-term thinking. What will happen when the coal runs out?

But coal has been hugely beneficial to Australia's economy. In Queensland alone, the industry invests around A$40bn a year and provides tens of thousands of jobs. If money talks, then coal will win.

The coal industry is clearly not the only factor having a negative impact on the reef.

But Unesco, the United Nations scientific, cultural and educational body, has already said the impact of coal export expansion could contribute to the Great Barrier Reef being classified as "endangered" on its list of World Heritage Sites.

"The science is clear," says Prof David Booth. "But the lack of uptake of science by the government here makes scientists feel impotent."

It's hard to imagine that a coal port could ever be beautiful. Yet looking out from Hay Point before dawn, the terminal's lights twinkle against the blackness of the sea.

But as the sun rises, the picture changes. Mountains of coal sit next to the azure waters that are home to the reef.

The next few decades could determine whether the two can continue to exist side by side.

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Best of our wild blogs: 22 Oct 14

Lots of dead farmed fishes at Lim Chu Kang, and now also at Kranji
from wild shores of singapore

Golden-bellied Gerygone serenading
for Bird Ecology Study Group

Two Butterflies at Mandai Track 15
from Beauty of Fauna and Flora in Nature

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Lower rate of airflow to cargo compartment may have led sheep to die of heat stress: MUIS

Today Online 21 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE — The 174 sheep, meant for a korban ritual earlier this month, could have died of heat stress due to a slightly lower rate of airflow to the cargo compartment of the aircraft during the flight from Perth, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said today (Oct 21).

“Investigations by the Agri Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore showed that the death of the sheep was due to heat stress. There was no indication of infectious disease,” it added.

The dead animals were among 2,200 Australian sheep that were flown to Singapore on board a Singapore Airlines Cargo plane on Oct 2.

MUIS said investigations by SIA Cargo showed that the aircraft had departed Perth in fully serviceable condition.

“However, a few hours into the flight, one of the three air-conditioning packs on the aircraft produced a slightly lower rate of airflow to the cargo compartment on an intermittent basis. This lower airflow rate affected a small section of the aircraft and may have caused a disruption of temperature in that section of the aircraft,” the MUIS statement said.

In spite of the incident, the korban — an annual Islamic ritual in which livestock are slaughtered and the meat is distributed to worshippers and the needy — was carried out smoothly on Oct 5 at 24 mosques and two Malay/Muslim Organisations organisations, MUIS said.

MUIS explains how Korban sheep died of heat stress
Channel NewsAsia 21 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) has announced results of investigations into the death of 174 sheep imported from the Australian city of Perth for Korban earlier this month. The sheep were part of a consignment of 2,200 sheep, and their deaths were announced on Oct 4.

MUIS on Tuesday (Oct 21) said a probe by the Agri Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) confirmed earlier findings that the sheep died due to heat stress and that there were no signs of infectious disease.

It also explained how the heat stress likely came about, based on investigations by SIA Cargo. "A few hours into the flight, one of the three air-conditioning packs on the aircraft produced a slightly lower rate of airflow to the cargo compartment on an intermittent basis. This lower airflow rate affected a small section of the aircraft and may have caused a disruption of temperature in that section of the aircraft," MUIS stated. It added that the
aircraft had departed from Perth in fully serviceable condition.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim had said the unfortunate incident is a learning point.

MUIS said despite the deaths, this year's Korban was carried out smoothly on Oct 5 at 24 mosques and at two organisations - Jamiyah Singapore and Muhammadiyah Association.

- CNA/ly

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Malaysia: Sarawak CM furious over logging in national parks

STEPHEN THEN The Star 20 Oct 14;

MIRI: Illegal logging had been detected inside two national parks in Sarawak, one of which is the largest totally-protected peat-swamp forest in this state.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today expressed his outrage over these blatant and continuous illegal loggings, especially in these protected forests, and he said that "enough is enough".

He told a press conference on Monday after chairing a meeting with enforcement agencies in Miri that he wants to see these illegal loggers nailed.

"Yes, we have detected illegal loggings happening in the state, including in two national parks - the Maludam National Park and also in Bukit Tiban National Park.

"I want the forestry officials to nail the culprits behind these illegal harvesting of timber.

"Enough is enough, I want to see results in the fight against these illegal loggers. I have already stopped issuing new timber licences. Those holding logging licences now have also been warned that they must not cross the line.

"If they are involved in illegal loggings, I will go after them also," he warned.

This is the third session of talks with enforcement agencies that Adenan had carried out in Sarawak in his efforts to instill integrity in the civil service after he took over as Chief Minister early this year from Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Maludam is the largest totally protected peat swamp in Sarawak measuring 432 sq km in the Sri Aman Division in southern Sarawak. Bukit Tiban National Park is located in Bintulu Division in northern Sarawak.

These national parks are home to rare and endangered species of plants, trees and animals.

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Best of our wild blogs: 21 Oct 14

Lots of dead farm fishes washed up at Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Buloh
from wild shores of singapore

Green Drinks: Developing the Sharing Economy in Singapore
from Green Drinks Singapore

Pelagic Survey on the Singapore Strait – 19 October 2014
from Singapore Bird Group

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Pulau Ubin: Weekend spot for many, home to a few

Goh Wei Hao My Paper AsiaOne 21 oct 14;

QUIET SPOT: Pulau Ubin, located off the north-eastern coast of Singapore, housed 2,000 villagers during its heyday. Now, just over 30 remain.

SINGAPORE - Today, just over 30 villagers remain on the once bustling island - all of whom are elderly.

Pulau Ubin, located off the north-eastern coast of Singapore, housed 2,000 villagers during its heyday.

"People started leaving for Singapore and Malaysia to look for jobs when the ubin (Malay for granite) quarry closed," said Madam Tan, the daughter-in-law of the dead village chief.

These days, Madam Tan can be found sitting on the front porch of her two-storey home, where she lives alone. She spends most of her time planting crops, cleaning the house and playing with her dog.

On weekends, her three sons and two daughters come to visit.

"Whenever my children come, they will keep asking me to move in with them," she said.

She has resisted their overtures.

"I like it here because it is less crowded," she explained. "The air is also fresher after the quarry closed and people stopped practising slash-and-burn farming."

Madam Tan, 76, married the village chief's eldest son when she was 15.

"My husband had eight brothers, so I had to take care of 10 people," she said. "I also had to rear the pigs and chickens, and help to tend my father-in-law's provision shop."

However, she was very contented. "If I was unhappy, I would have left ages ago!" quipped Madam Tan.

According to her, the main source of income for the villagers used to be from the quarries, rubber plantations and farming.

"I started working at a very young age, helping my father tap rubber sap and my mother push carts in the quarry," she said.

Today, these industries are obsolete. Instead, the main village is filled with bicycle rental shops and seafood restaurants, all vying for the patronage of visitors to the island.

One such store can be found deep within the island: a food and beverage store opened by Mr Ahmad, 78, and Ms Saipiah, 75 who have been together for more than 50 years.

The couple enjoy spending time at the five-year-old store - selling coconuts, drinks and Malay snacks - because they get to interact with visitors. Their other pastimes include watching TV and listening to the radio.
On Fridays, the couple travel to a mosque in Bugis or Geylang for their prayers.

Even though the number of villagers has dwindled, the "kampung spirit" is still alive and well on the island.

Ms Juhaini, a 46-year-old production operator, is a prime example of this. Even though her parents have died, she returns to the island to help her neighbours on weekends, especially with translations.

The other big draw is that living expenses on the island are closer to those during the 60s. Ms Lee, an illustrator in her 30s, said both her parents spend less than $1,000 a month, with the bulk of it going to groceries and phone bills, as the rent is just over $100.

The island's tranquil pace of life makes it easy to see why it is still a draw with visitors, who come during weekends or holidays to fish and cycle.

"The visitors are normally from the Philippines, Indonesia and China," said Mr Heng, 69. "Singaporeans normally only come to cycle during the weekends or during Qing Ming Festival to sweep their ancestors' tombs."

Mr Heng, who lives in Hougang, visits the island every few months to stay at his friend's house - located a stone's throw from the jetty.

"When I am here, I like to fish, cut the grass, clean the house or just sit here (outside the house)," he said. "Sometimes, I bring my brother or my kids."

According to him, the villagers - although greying - are still very healthy and mobile.

"You will be surprised because many of the villagers in their 90s can still walk faster than me," he said.

He added: "The villagers who are ill have all left the island."

So have the children of the villagers, who have moved to the mainland.

One such person is Ms Lee, who left because "it was too troublesome to keep travelling to and fro".

According to her, she belongs to the "last generation of Ubin-born children".

The Lasalle School of the Arts graduate added: "During my time, there were only around 10 children left."

When she visits her parents with her older brother and sister on weekends, Ms Lee makes sketches of the island in her black notebook.

She still holds many fond memories from her childhood, especially of cycling and exploring the island with her neighbours. "I like that it is less congested and the air is much fresher. I might retire here one day," she said.

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New Jurong gardens will retain heritage

Aw Cheng Wei The Straits Times AsiaOne 20 Oct 14;

THE new Jurong Lake Gardens will not be developed in a rush, assured Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, promising to maintain the area's special character and heritage.

To drive this patient rejuvenation of a "people's garden" is a steering committee led by Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong, said Mr Tharman yesterday.

Its challenge, he said, is to retain the natural feel and history of the place, and yet inject life and enable many more Singaporeans to enjoy what he hopes will become "an endearing place".

"Jurong Lake Gardens and its surroundings will give a new face to our neighbourhood, something to be enjoyed by residents and Singaporeans everywhere on the island," he said, before joining over 700 families in an event to clean up Jurong Lake.

The Jurong Lake Gardens, which covers more than 70ha by combining the Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden and Jurong Lake Park, will be completed in phases, said Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister and an MP for Jurong GRC.
The makeover was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally in August. It will begin with Jurong Lake Destination Park, which will be done by 2017.

Following that, Science Centre Singapore's new home near Chinese Garden MRT station is expected to be ready by 2020.

Mr Wong said his committee wants to put in place a long-term masterplan that will guide development in Jurong Lake District for many years. "This is not a typical (Urban Redevelopment Authority) planning committee. We should look at it more broadly."

This is especially since the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail terminus might be built in Jurong East, and Pandan Reservoir could also be integrated into the area, he said.

An example which the committee - which will be supported by the URA - can learn from is Marina Bay, said Mr Wong.

"If you looked at what we did for Marina Bay, it went on for a number of years... We had a vision and we worked very hard to make the plans happen," he said.

The 15 members in the new committee will come from the Government, the private sector and the community.

"We deliberately put together people with a range of expertise in design, urban planning... as well as representatives from the local community," said Mr Wong, who is an MP for West Coast GRC, which is adjacent to Jurong GRC where the gardens are situated.

The members include Senior Minister of State for Finance Josephine Teo; Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee; Nature Society president Shawn Lum; Centre for Liveable Cities executive director Khoo Teng Chye; and Taman Jurong Citizens Consultative Committee chairman Goh Peng Tong.

They will look at ideas and possibilities, gather feedback before the plans are finalised, and also put on roadshows.

"We will certainly want to hear from Singaporeans (on) what they would like to see for Jurong Lake District," said Mr Wong, referring to the plans as a national project.

Mr Habibui Hasim Matbar, 42, who was cleaning up the lake with his seven-year-old son yesterday, said his family, who lives in Boon Lay, is looking forward to the changes. "My family comes here about two or three times a month, and we are very excited," said the Keppel Shipyard project manager.

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Egg prices continue to rise after suspension of third Malaysian farm

KELLY NG Today Online 21 Oct 14;

The prices of fresh eggs here have continued to rise as the supply shortfall widens, after another farm in Malaysia was suspended last month — the third in six months — from exporting eggs to Singapore.

This is so despite the three suspended farms accounting for less than 8 per cent of Singapore’s total supply of 1.68 billion eggs last year. In the past three weeks alone, a few supermarket chains have raised the prices of eggs several times.

School canteen vendor Margaret Tan, 60, who usually buys eggs from Sheng Siong, said a box of 30 eggs now sets her back S$5.95, up from S$5.60 last week and S$4.30 last month.

At NTUC FairPrice stores, fresh eggs now cost between S$1.95 and S$5.70 for a pack, up from between S$1.90 and S$5.55 at the end of last month.

A FairPrice spokesperson said prices of eggs had increased by about 12 per cent over the past six-and-a-half months for “various reasons such as reductions in supply and economic conditions”.

Egg prices at Giant have also increased by about 4 to 7 per cent in the past three to four months, said a Dairy Farm Group spokesperson.

Last month, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) suspended Charoen Pokphand Jaya farm after its eggs had been found to contain Salmonella Enteritidis — a bacterium that causes food poisoning. The two other farms, Chong Ne Nam and Teo Seng Farm 8, were suspended in March and July, respectively.

Singapore imported about three-quarters of its eggs from Malaysia last year, with the rest produced locally. There are currently 20 Malaysian chicken layer farms approved by the AVA.

Mr Tan Lau Huah, chairman of the Eggs Import/Export Trading Association, said prices first took flight around August, after the second farm was suspended, and had risen thrice since.

Wholesale prices are now at a record high of almost S$2.40 per dozen.

“We face higher costs from our Malaysian suppliers and demand has risen because of festivities this month, so we have no choice but to raise prices,” he said.

Mr Tan expects prices to remain unchanged for the next two weeks as demand is likely to subside only after Deepavali. KELLY NG

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Best of our wild blogs: 20 Oct 14

What is AVA doing about dead farm fishes being dumped into the water?
from wild shores of singapore

Dead fish checks: Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Buloh
from wild shores of singapore

Dead fishes at West Coast Park Marsh Garden
from wild shores of singapore

Pied Pilferers On The Wrong Side Of The Tracks
from Winging It

Black and Yellow Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa aestuans) (?) @ Seletar West
from Monday Morgue

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