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Releasing Animals on Vesak Day

Turtles, fish and birds are usually freed at temples, reservoirs, ponds, parks and beaches as a symbolic gesture of compassion on Vesak Day, the day that celebrates Buddha's birth and his enlightenment.

However, freeing animals does more harm than good.

  • The process of release could be stressful to the animals.
    • Many pet shop animals cannot survive in the wild as they no longer have the ability to find food and shelter on their own. They are also used to living in special habitats, so releasing an animal into the wrong habitat will cause it to suffer and die.
  • Releasing foreign animals into our environment disrupts the balance of our local ecosystem.
    • Foreign animals who are not indigenous to our country will compete with our local wild animals for food, shelter, nesting areas and living space. This threatens the natural balance of our local ecosystem.
  • Foreign animals may transmit diseases to other wild animals.
    • Indigenous local animals may not have immunity against certain diseases carried by infected foreign animals. If wild animals are infected, these foreign diseases may be transmited to humans.

In Singapore, it is against the law to release any animal into our public parks, reservoirs, nature reserves and other places. Those caught releasing animals can be fined up to $50 000, jailed for up to 6 months , or a combination of both. 

Please do not kill life on a celebrated holiday. Do your part to truly show compassion for animals. Conserve nature and protect our environment.