Woman arrested for keeping protected birds as pets

Photo via กองอำนวยการรักษาความมั่นคงภายในจังหวัดชุมพร

A woman in the southern province of Chumphon faces up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 baht for keeping 37 protected birds as pets without permission. The woman insisted that she did not buy or obtain the birds illegally, the birds came to her of their own free will so decided to care for them.

Officers from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division, otherwise known as Greencop, received a complaint from an anonymous person about the illegal possession of protected birds at a house in the Baan Na sub-district of Chumphon.

The officers raided the house yesterday, December 26, and arrested the owner, Panpit Thongkhao, for violating the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act (2019).

The 37 protected birds found at the house were divided into four species: two blue whistling thrushes, six white-breasted waterhens, 19 common hill mynas, and 10 golden-crested mynas. They were raised in three cages placed in front of the house.

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Panpit insisted that she did not buy the birds or search the forest for them. The bird lover claimed that the birds came to a weeping fig near her house. So, she placed a trap to catch them and took them home.

According to Sections 17 and 92 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act (2019), Panpit could face a five-year jail sentence, a fine of up to 500,000 baht, or both for possessing the protected animals without permission.

On Thursday, December 22, Greencop arrested a woman in the southern province of Songkhla for possessing and selling carcasses of protected wildlife. The woman faces a harder penalty of imprisonment for up to 10 years, a fine of up to 1 million baht, or both. She confessed that her customers bought the animals as ingredients for exotic dishes.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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