Animal welfare code could be in place next year

CNA | May 17, 2013

Animal welfare code could be in place next year Tan Qiuyi

SINGAPORE: An animal welfare code spelling out the do’s and don’ts of how to care for a pet is one new addition to Singapore’s animal welfare law that authorities are working to put in place next year. The code is not just a guide for pet owners but more importantly, to allow authorities to punish those who are not caring properly for their pets. Countries like New Zealand and the UK have animal welfare codes that require pet owners to provide basic care for their animals. The basic care includes providing adequate shelter, proper food and water, and making sure a sick animal gets treated. Singapore will be adopting a similar code. Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of Animal Welfare Legislation Review, said: “It is very straightforward in the sense to say that if any owner or person in charge of the animal or pet does not take good care of the animal, they can be taken to task. “It is very likely that we may develop something that is general but at the same time, put in some specific points for some popular pets like cats and dogs.” The law today mainly targets cruelty to animals, and only after these acts have been committed, rather than preventing animals from cruelty or poor conditions in the first place. Pet owners are also not required to care for their pets in any particular way. In tandem, authorities will be able to issue orders to pet owners to improve an animal’s well-being. Those who fail to comply could be punished or have their animals removed. Currently, enforcement officers can only remove animals if an offence has been reasonably suspected to have been committed. Activists said authorities should go further and consider setting up a dedicated animal welfare police to investigate and prosecute offenders. Registered volunteer groups could then be empowered to work with this team in their enforcement. “Without active enforcement measures, the laws that we have, however good, will just be theoretical,” said Assistant Professor Liew Kai Khium, who is a volunteer at the House Rabbit Society Singapore. Mr Yeo said Singapore cannot rely on enforcement and prosecution to solve the problem and address the issue. He explained: “It really needs to address the issue upstream, to ensure that even at the point of sale, the seller must have the responsibility to ensure someone who wants to keep a pet understands how to really take care of it, what they need to do and what they don’t.” Volunteers said defining ownership is a problem, especially in abandonment cases. Singapore’s animal welfare legislation resides in the Animal and Birds Act, which defines an owner as “any person for the time being in charge of any animal or bird and any person for the time being in occupation of any building”. The definition is broad but on the ground, it is often difficult to prove that someone owns a cat, for example. Shirley Goh, committee member of the Cat Welfare Society, said: “When there is a complaint related to cats roaming about the corridors, they will simply say, ‘No, these are not my cats, they are strays.’ How do you define ownership then?” In response, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said “direct and verifiable evidence that the person kept the animal and was in charge of it” is needed before officers can take action on alleged abandonment cases. Officers also need witnesses who are willing to testify in court. Volunteers said they would like to see more weight given to witness testimonies as photo or video evidence can be hard to come by. For instance, if a neighbour can confirm that an animal has been living with the person for years, has been fed, or goes in and out of the person’s house, this should be understood as ownership, said Ms Goh. “Should anything happen, like complaints or abandonment, shouldn’t they be responsible?” she added. There are plans to review the legal definition which can have an impact on current enforcement practices. “We understand the concerns about ownership,” said Mr Yeo, “But currently, the definition is to serve the purpose of the Animals and Birds Act, which covers a wide range of aspects including disease control. The committee is aware of this, that’s why we’re looking into whether we should review the ownership in terms of animal welfare.” Many agree licensing and micro-chipping a pet should be made compulsory, and the owner should bear the cost. Asst Prof Liew said: “That would help to promote a greater sense of accountability and responsibility, and to get people to think twice about a pet when all these costs are factored in.” The AVA is working on a national microchip database, but Channel NewsAsia understands its implementation will take time. Source: CNA

CNA | Apr 26, 2013

MND to raise animal welfare standards Tan Qiuyi

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of National Development (MND) has accepted all 24 recommendations proposed by the Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee (AWLRC). The ministry said it would partner with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to work out detailed implementation plans and roll out the recommendations in phases. MND added that it also welcomes chairman of AWLRC Yeo Guat Kwang’s plans to table a Private Member’s Bill to amend the animal welfare legislation in the Animal and Birds Act as a follow-up to the committee’s recommendations. Mr Yeo said: “It marks a significant step for animal welfare in Singapore, as we will move on to more proactive and responsive legislation as well as instilling responsible and appropriate behaviour in all stakeholders who play a part in an animal’s life cycle.” Recommendations include the establishing of a minimum age for pet buyers – only those aged 16 or older will be allowed to buy a pet. This will also become a condition for the licensing of pet shops and pet farms selling pets. Executive director of Animal Concerns Research & Education Society, Louis Ng said: “What we’re pushing for now is an ethical progress, a moral progress rather than an economic one. We’re telling the seller that look, obviously there’re profits to be made, but you must make your profits ethically. So if you think this buyer who wants to buy your S$2,000 dog, cannot look after the dog properly, you shouldn’t sell.” Pet sellers said screening buyers is far from straightforward. Manager for corporate communications at Pet Lovers Centre, Timothy Loh said: “If I have somebody who’s above 16, walks in, is able to buy a pet, goes back and after that ill-treats the pet, or dumps the pet, that would also defeat the purpose. On the other hand, you can also have somebody who’s below 16, who’s very, very enlightened because the parents have taught him to be a responsible pet owner.” Non-governmental organizations said pet abandonment will continue to be a challenge, without an effective microchip system in place to trace pets to their owners. President of the Cat Welfare Society, Veron Lau said: “The people implementing will have to work with people on the ground, the officers and the volunteers dealing with all these cases, to work out how do you define pet ownership, how do you define abandonment, so that all these cases do not keep falling through the cracks.” Mr Yeo said: “I believe AVA will step up enforcement, but more importantly, I think we will review the legislative framework to ensure there’s greater clarity, so that moving forward, when it comes to enforcement and prosecution, it will be much easier for the agencies, as well as volunteers and the general public, to help us to play their part to be the eyes and ears to bring all those wrongdoers to task.” Tighter licensing rules for pet shops, which include adopting a minimum age and pre-sale screening for pet buyers, can be implemented in the next three to six months. While amendments to the law, which require tabling and debate in Parliament, are expected by early 2014. Also among the recommendations is a tiered penalty structure that differentiates the intent of the offender and nature of the offence. The committee has proposed different penalties for individuals and corporate bodies such as pet shops and farms. The current penalty is a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or a 1 year jail term. The AWLRC has recommended that repeat malicious offenders of animal cruelty and abuse be given a maximum fine of S$50,000 and/or 3 years’ jail. The offender would also be prohibited from keeping animals for up to one year. The committee also proposed a new penalty for those with the deliberate or malicious intent of being cruel to an animal and for repeat offenders who fail to ensure adequate care; the recommendations call for a maximum fine of S$20,000 and/or 2 years’ jail. The offender would also be prohibited from keeping animals for up to one year. The proposed recommendations also call for first-time offenders who are reckless, ignorant or those who fail to provide care to the animals to be fined a maximum of S$10,000 and/or jailed for one year. The offender would also have to perform community service. Corporate bodies will also face stiffer penalties depending on the nature of the offence. Under the recommendations, repeat corporate offenders who commit wilful or cruelty cases can be fined up to S$100,000 and/or be prohibited from engaging in animal-related trade for up to one year. Wilful offenders and repeat offenders will face a maximum S$40,000 fine and/or be prohibited from engaging in animal-related trade for up to one year. Businesses that are deemed to be reckless, ignorant and that fail to provide care can also face a maximum S$20,000 fine. The recommendations, both legislative and non-legislative, are grouped under four thrusts. These include ensuring reasonable care and welfare of animals, increasing deterrence and stepping up action against wrongdoers, fostering greater responsibility in the industry to ensure animal welfare, as well as fostering greater responsibility amongst pet owners and greater community awareness of animal welfare. MND said this is a significant step towards improving animal welfare in Singapore. Source: CNA

Zaobao | Apr 26, 2013

TODAY | Apr 26, 2013

MND accepts all recommendations to improve animal welfare laws

SINGAPORE — Recommendations for improving animal welfare in Singapore have been accepted by the Ministry of National Development, and will be implemented in phases. The ministry said yesterday it has accepted all 24 recommendations proposed by the Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee (AWLRC), which were submitted last month. The recommendations include establishing a minimum age for pet buyers — only those 16 or older will be allowed to buy a pet. This will also be a condition for the licensing of pet shops and pet farms selling pets. Also among the recommendations is a tiered penalty structure that considers the intent of the offender and nature of the offence. For example, repeat malicious offenders of animal cruelty and abuse could be fined up to S$50,000 or face a three-year jail term, or both. The offender would also be prohibited from keeping animals for up to one year. The current penalty is a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or a one-year jail term. The ministry said it would work with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to come up with detailed implementation plans and roll out the recommendations in phases. It also said it welcomes AWLRC Chairman Yeo Guat Kwang’s plans to table a Private Member’s Bill to amend the animal welfare legislation in the Animal and Birds Act. Other proposals include a new penalty for those who show a deliberate or malicious intent of being cruel to an animal, and for repeat offenders who fail to ensure adequate care. Such offenders could face a maximum fine of S$20,000 or two years’ jail, or both. They would also not be allowed to keep animals for up to a year. Corporate bodies will also face stiffer penalties. Repeat offenders who commit wilful acts of cruelty can be fined up to S$100,000 or be prohibited from engaging in animal-related trade for up to a year, or both. Businesses deemed to be reckless, ignorant and that fail to provide care can face a maximum S$20,000 fine. CHANNEL NEWSASIA Source: TODAYonline

AsiaOne | Apr 26, 2013

MND accepts recommendations to improve animal welfare Walter Sim

SINGAPORE – The recommendations have been grouped into four areas: to ensure reasonable care and welfare of animals; to increase deterrence and stepping up action against wrongdoers; to foster greater responsibility in industry; and to foster greater responsibility among pet owners and greater community awareness. Here is the press release from MND: Taking Further Steps to Improve Animal Welfare The Ministry of National Development (MND) has accepted all 24 recommendations proposed by the Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee (AWLRC). This is a significant step towards improving animal welfare in Singapore. The Animal Welfare Legislative Review Committee In April 2012, the Minister for National Development appointed Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC), and Member of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development to chair the AWLRC. The Committee was tasked to review and strengthen Singapore’s animal welfare legislation, and recommend approaches to enhance stakeholders’ collaboration on animal welfare. It comprises MPs, community leaders, and representatives from the animal welfare groups, pet industry and the veterinary profession. The Committee took an inclusive and consultative approach, with Singaporeans’ inputs being sought through an online feedback portal and several stakeholder focus group discussions. This extensive ground-up approach has yielded a wide range of valuable feedback from Singaporeans of all walks of life. Taking these inputs into consideration, the AWLRC has proposed a number of recommendations, both legislative and non-legislative, grouped under four thrusts as follows: a)Ensuring reasonable care and welfare of animals; b)Increasing deterrence and stepping up action against wrongdoers; c)Fostering greater responsibility in industry to ensure animal welfare; and d)Fostering greater responsibility amongst pet owners and greater community awareness of animal welfare The full report with detailed recommendations can be found at http://www.mnd.gov.sg/AWLRCReport/. Next Steps MND would like to thank Mr Yeo and his committee members for their considerable effort in reviewing this complex and emotive subject on animal welfare. The Government is confident that the recommendations by the AWLRC will help raise the bar for animal welfare in Singapore. Animal welfare issues have gained prominence in recent years. The Government acknowledges the need to enhance animal welfare standards in Singapore, while balancing the diverse interests of the community at large. The recommendations proposed by the AWLRC are timely and essential to achieving a harmonious living environment for animals, animal lovers and those who may not be comfortable with having animals amidst them. MND will work with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to carefully work out the detailed implementation plans and roll out the recommendations in phases. Protecting animal welfare and preventing animal cruelty is not just the responsibility of Government agencies, but also involves the combined effort of animal lovers, industry and all Singaporeans. We look forward to greater collaboration and partnerships with these stakeholders to improve animal welfare. MND also welcomes Mr Yeo Guat Kwang’s plan to table a Private Member’s Bill to amend the animal welfare legislation in the Animal and Birds Act, as a follow-up to the Committee’s recommendations. Source: AsiaOne

Straits Times Opinion | Apr 26, 2013

Straits Times | Apr 23, 2013

Straits Times | Apr 22, 2013

Animal welfare included in syllabus on building character David Ee

Both primary and secondary students will learn the importance of animal welfare in the new upcoming Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) syllabus to be introduced next year. Through this, they will gain an understanding of “how they can contribute towards developing a caring society”, using their daily experiences as a guide, an Education Ministry (MOE) spokesman said. MOE was responding to queries from The Straits Times, after Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam – who has championed animal rights in recent years – revealed in an interview with a magazine this month that the CCE syllabus would teach students about animal care and handling. He had said: “I’m a strong believer that children are automatically interested and loving towards pets, so we should encourage them and educate them so that the future generation will be even more loving or at least tolerant of animals.” Source: Straits Times

AsiaOne | Mar 3, 2013

Animal welfare: Extensive measures recommended to protect them

Stiffer fines and jail terms for animal abusers and compulsory screening of would-be pet buyers may be imminent. The following is the statement from the Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee. ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION REVIEW COMMITTEE (AWLRC) SUBMITS ITS RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNMENT The Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee (AWLRC) has submitted its recommendations and final report to the Minister for National Development Mr Khaw Boon Wan. The report detailed the AWLRC’s study, findings and discussions. It included 24 recommendations, which seek to raise animal welfare standards in Singapore, through strengthening the legislation on animal welfare, as well as enhancing stakeholders’ collaboration on animal welfare. Recommendations from Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee 2. The 24 recommendations, both legislative and non-legislative are grouped under four thrusts: Thrust I: Ensuring reasonable care and welfare of animals 3. The key recommendations under this thrust include requiring owners and people in charge of animals to have a duty of care for animal, and for codes of animal welfare to be adopted so that people are clear on what acts and behaviours are right, and what are wrong. Thrust II: Increasing deterrence and stepping up action against wrongdoers 4. The AWLRC recommends a new tiered penalty structure, so as to take into account the intent of the offender and nature of the abuse. It will include higher fines and jail terms for certain offences; distinct penalties for corporate bodies; imposition of community service and prohibition orders for keeping of pets or engaging in animal-related trade. Thrust III: Fostering greater responsibility in industry to ensure animal welfare 5. The AWLRC recommends all pet-related businesses to undergo training on animal care and handling, as well as licensing of commercial pet breeding and boarding. To reduce impulse buying, the AWLRC recommends a minimum age of 16 years old for buying a pet and to require pet shops and farms to conduct pre-sale screening of buyers, so that pets are sold to informed, responsible and committed buyers. 6. Besides regulations, the AWLRC recommends industry-led accreditation schemes that promote industry standards above and beyond regulatory requirements. Thrust IV: Fostering greater responsibility amongst pet owners and greater community awareness of animal welfare 7. Increasing stakeholder collaboration on Responsible Pet Ownership education and extending mediation-cum-engagement programmes to help resolve animal-related local disputes are the key recommendations under this thrust. Information on the Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee 9. The AWLRC is chaired by Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC and member of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development, and comprises MPs Mr Gan Thiam Poh and Mr Alex Yam, as well as community grassroots leaders, and representatives from the animal welfare groups, pet industry, and the veterinary profession. The list of the Committee members is appended. 10. As part of its review, the AWLRC initiated a consultation process to take into consideration Singapore society’s expectations for animal welfare, the diverse views of the various stakeholders, and strike a balance between animal welfare, safeguarding of public safety, and other competing interests. The AWLRC held six consultation sessions from May to July 2012 involving more than 170 participants from the industry, grassroots leaders, veterinarians, and animal welfare groups and activists to seek views from these stakeholder groups. The AWLRC also sought further views from the public and stakeholder consultation participants through an e-consultation on the REACH portal from 5 September to 5 October 2012, which received views from 570 respondents. 11. Chairman of AWLRC, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang hopes that the AWLRC’s work can contribute towards raising Singapore’s animal welfare standards in the long run – “It is important to have proactive and responsive legislation, and address the welfare of the animals in the way that they are cared for and not just limited to punishing acts of cruelty. “Apart from strengthening legislation, we also hope to instil responsible and appropriate behaviour in all stakeholders who play a part in an animal’s life cycle, as animal welfare is a shared responsibility by all stakeholders.” Source: AsiaOne

CNA | Mar 3, 2013

Higher fines, longer jail term for animal abusers proposed
Tan Qiuyi

SINGAPORE: The Animal Welfare Legislative Review Committee is calling for heavier penalties for animal abuse and abandonment. After a year-long review, the committee has submitted its recommendations to the National Development Ministry for consideration. The current penalty for animal abuse is a fine of up to S$10,000, one year in jail, or both. The committee calls for a more detailed penalty structure that differentiates the intent and severity of the offence, with the maximum penalty for repeat and malicious cases going up to S$50,000, three years’ jail and a one-year ban on keeping animals. At the same time, the proposal calls for higher penalties for businesses – between S$20,000 and S$100,000, and a ban on animal-related business for up to a year. The Animal Welfare Legislative Review Committee said the objective is to send a strong message to deter wrongdoers. Ricky Yeo, president of Action for Singapore Dogs, said: “The higher penalties of course may pose a deterrent to would-be offenders. But I think what’s important really is enforcement. “To move forward, there has to be some priority assigned to prosecution of this kind of cases – which means lots of investigations, and to do that I think logistically, the authorities need a lot more manpower. This is something the animal welfare groups can be empowered to help.” Most people Channel NewsAsia spoke to support the call for harsher penalties. Another key proposal is to legally require all staff in all pet businesses to be appropriately trained in animal care and handling. The committee is recommending regulation for all commercial pet breeding activities, and for all pet boarding facilities to be licensed. It also wants to see pet shops screen potential buyers to ensure pets are sold to responsible and committed owners. Mr Chua Ming Kok, who represents the Pet Enterprises and Traders Association of Singapore in the committee, said: “There will definitely be some resistance from the smaller players. “But we’ll have in place schemes to train them, to try to help them come on board this scheme. The major players in the industry have already given their consensus to be on this scheme.” George Tan, who owns Joy Doggy, a small pet shop which sells puppies, said: “Overall, the recommendations are OK. The main concern is about staff training. The turnover rate for my staff is very high, it’s going to be very, very difficult for me financially to send them for training. “If, let’s say, there is a free course … conducted by the government for us, I’ll be most willing to send my staff in for training because it really will raise the standard of the industry.” Committee chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said their job is far from over. “It’s not a job that’s been done. We definitely need to do more. But let’s take one step at a time, and with this big step forward, I’m confident many other suggestions which are practical and reasonable will definitely also be taken into consideration in future,” he said. The committee’s report details 24 recommendations in total, including a call to set a minimum age of 16 years for buying a pet. It is the result of a year-long review, including consultations with animal welfare activists, pet industry representatives, and the public. Underpinning the recommendations is a call for interest groups on different sides of the animal welfare debate to work together. National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said his ministry will carefully study the recommendations. In a blog post, he said his instinct is that the law may need to be updated. Source: CNA

The New Paper | Mar 3, 2013

Stiffer penalty for repeat animal abusers

China.org.cn | Mar 3, 2013

Animal abusers in Singapore may see tougher punishment

The Animal Welfare Legislative Review Committee said on Friday that they are calling for tougher punishment for animal abuse and abandonment in Singapore, after a first ever one-year long review set up by the government according to the city-state’s existing animal welfare laws. Among the 24 recommendations in total, the committee has proposed that repeat or malicious offenders could be slapped with fines reaching 50,000 Singapore dollars (40,323 U.S. dollars) and/ or three-year jail terms, comparing with the current maximum penalty of fine up to 10,000 Singapore dollars or one year in jail, or both. They would also be barred from keeping pets for up to one year, the committee added. Some first-time animal abusers may see the original penalty, as well as perform community service. Meanwhile, the committee also calls for higher penalties for businesses, with penalties up to 100,000 Singapore dollars, and a ban from operating for up to a year. Besides some regulations on commercial pet breeding activities and pet boarding facilities, the proposals also advice that the government should set a minimum age of 16 years old for buying a pet, even including pet fish. It is said that the committee has submitted its recommendations to the city-state’s National Development Ministry for consideration. It’s very common to see some offenders sentenced to jail or fined because of their animal abuse here. At the end of last year, two cats had been cruelly dismembered in a community. The case had arisen intense condemns both on the internet and the local media. K Shanmugam, the city-state’s Law and Foreign Affairs Minister, called the act “gruesome” and “sick.” Source: China.org.cn

xinmsn | Mar 3, 2013

Higher fines, longer jail terms for animal abusers proposed
Tan Qiuyi

The Animal Welfare Legislative Review Committee is calling for heavier penalties for animal abuse and abandonment. After a year-long review, the committee has submitted its recommendations to the National Development Ministry for consideration. The current penalty for animal abuse is a fine of up to 10 thousand dollars, 1 year in jail, or both. The Committee calls for a more detailed penalty structure that differentiates the intent and severity of the offence, with the maximum penalty for repeat and malicious cases going up to 50 thousand dollars, 3 years in jail and a 1-year ban on keeping animals. At the same time, the proposal calls for higher penalties for businesses – between 20 thousand and 100 thousand dollars, and a ban on animal-related business for up to a year. Another key proposal is to legally require all staff in all pet businesses to be appropriately trained in animal care and handling. The Committee is also recommending regulation for all commercial pet breeding activities and for all pet boarding facilities to be licensed. The Committee’s report also includes a call to set a minimum age of 16 years old for buying a pet. Source: xinmsn

Zaobao | Nov 4, 2012

官民合作照顾 流浪猫狗走好运

过去五年来,吴丽玲(43岁,学前教育工作者)把喂流浪狗视为每周最重要的休闲活动。她发现,生活在工业区的狗儿数量不但与日俱增,工人虐狗的事件也不时发生。   她说:“母 狗每年怀孕两次,一次可生最多八只小狗;以前工业区的狗群没绝育,数量上升得很快。狗儿多了后,除了会聚集追赶骚扰工人、行人或脚踏车骑士,还会随地大小便。一些工人被激怒后开始虐待狗,或是把它们带到较远的地方丢弃。”   吴丽玲于是决定为工业区流浪狗绝育。首先,她必须先尝试说服工人善待狗儿,要求他们帮忙捉狗、在狗儿绝育后照顾它们。五年来,她已“教育”了50多名缅甸、孟加拉和泰国籍工人。   说起这个游走工业区劝说工人的大胆计划,吴丽玲以“没日没夜”来形容,当中也不乏有惊无险的过程。她说:“我通常都是单独行动,看到工人就会上前和他们交谈,尝试说服他们对狗儿好一点,教授他们基本的养狗知识。有一天傍晚,我被10多个态度十分恶劣的工人团团围住,他们警告我不要再为流浪狗说情,把我吓坏了。”   吴丽玲偶尔也会给工人带来食物和旧衣服,再给他们一些钱为狗儿买粮食。她直言,这些花费让她得到不少工人的信任,以致他们对流浪狗的态度也有了很大的改变。   她说:“他们一发现有狗儿受伤,会第一时间打电话通知我。从前用铁链打狗,现在会和狗儿分享自己的菜饭,态度真的好很多。”本土混种狗终有好归宿  吴丽玲去年成立了动物福利组织HOPE Dog Rescue,召集了20多名活跃义工一起拯救流浪狗,一年内大约为100只成年狗做了绝育手术。 吴丽玲认为,流浪狗的问题还是会存在,为它们做绝育手术,使它们的数量自然减少,才是更人道的做法。她说:“流浪猫狗也有生存权利,相关机构也许可以考虑给工业区的工厂一些奖励,鼓励他们善待流浪动物。我也希望这些本土混种狗也可以受到国人的喜爱,被更多人领养。”   由于流浪狗大多都属土生土长的混种狗(Mongrel),比起品种更优良的宠物狗,较不受国人欢迎。多年来,在本地动物福利组织的积极推动下,流浪猫狗的生存状态如今也渐获政府重视,开始在组屋区推行安顿流浪猫狗的试验计划。   今年6月,新加坡农粮兽医局、建屋发展局、新加坡爱狗协会和新加坡防止虐待动物协会(Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,简称SPCA)合作,开展了在组屋区收养流浪狗的试验计划,称为Project ADORE,同时要求为流浪狗接受强制性驯养﹑绝育手术。至今,已有10只流浪狗被成功领养。   另外,国家公园局和农粮与兽医局也在今年5月,与多个动物福利组织合作,在宏茂桥市镇西公园设立围场捕捉流浪狗的试验计划,以便为它们安排领养家庭。到目前为止,捕捉到的10只流浪狗当中,已有两只找到主人。   据估计,本地有约8000只流浪狗。不过,去年农粮与兽医局捉到的1500只流浪狗当中,仅有100只被领养或被主人领回,其余全被施予安乐死。   农粮局发言人受访时说,该局支持Project ADORE这类领养计划,并将继续与动物福利组织合作,把捉到的流浪狗评估后才让人领养。他们也欢迎准备长期领养流浪狗的国人参与计划。   防止虐待动物协会执行董事方月明则说:“我们与新加坡爱狗协会为争取本土混种狗能在组屋区生活,的确尽了不少努力。这些流浪狗没有家,整天只能在街上、公园或工业区游荡,为它们争取更好的居住环境,动物福利组织责无旁贷。”   但她也强调,无论狗的品种和大小,狗主人对狗儿和邻里环境的责任感同样重要。爱猫妇女到坟场喂猫平日杳无人烟的林厝港坟场,是流浪猫狗安逸的家园。 慕塔芝(35岁,仓库协调员)的父亲四年前去世后安葬在那里,她每个星期到坟场清理坟墓时,总有一只流浪猫在她身边徘徊,一点都不怕生。   爱猫的她渐渐发现,坟场有很多怀孕母猫出没,因此开始担心它们的生存状况。后来,慕塔芝在猫福利协会义工的帮助下,为坟场的流浪猫做了绝育手术。   她说:“我很担心母猫会一直怀孕,因为没有人照顾它们,但又不想带它们去堕胎,毕竟小猫也是生命,于是就养成了习惯,每星期都会去喂它们。”   为了收集更多流浪猫的信息,慕塔芝公开了自己的面簿网址和手机号码,希望结合网络的力量,召集更多爱猫者,在有必要时相互帮助。   她说:“有人照顾流浪猫狗,是给予它们继续生存的机会,大家应该互相理解。看到猫狗有难,我会把拯救它们视为责任与动力。”   猫福利协会会长刘韵冰受访时透露,本地目前约有6万只流浪猫,这个数目比1998年的12万只少了一半,这得归功于政府机构和动物福利组织多年来积极推动的流浪猫绝育计划。   农粮与兽医局在1998年曾推出“野猫绝育计划”(Stray Cats Rehabilitation Scheme),计划实行了五年,于2003年停止。当局去年7月又开始与猫福利协会合作,在三巴旺-义顺、宏茂桥、淡滨尼和马林百列市镇会管理的组屋区内为流浪猫绝育。   计划实施一年后,目前取得不错效果,刘韵冰透露,马西岭和武吉班让组屋区也将加入该计划。   另一方面,当局也改变多年来对饲养猫儿的限制,与三巴旺-义顺市镇会合作,自10月20日起,让忠邦区共123座组屋居民加入合法养猫的试验计划,为期两年。居民只要为猫儿登记注册、绝育和装上晶片,并承诺不放宠物外出游荡,就可以养猫。动物福利立法检讨报告年底出炉 除了检讨宠物主人责任制及管理流浪猫狗的问题,受访动物福利组织最希望看到的改变,包括赋予动物福利组织更多独立调查虐待动物案件的权利,以及加强对虐待动物者的惩罚力度。   新加坡爱狗协会会长杨伟发受访时说,和外国相比,本地的动物福利进程仍有进步空间。他说:“对于虐待动物者,我认为目前的惩罚仍不足以引起重视。印象中,好像没人因虐待动物而被判以最严厉的惩罚,多数人都是罚款了事。”   根据我国法令,任何人被发现虐待动物而定罪,罚款可达1万元或坐牢最多12个月或两者兼施。   刘韵冰则说,“动物福利组织目前仍没有权利到宠物店或住家进行独立调查,只能帮助相关机构做资料收集,或发布传单寻找目击者等工作。外国不少类似的组织已能提控虐待动物者,我希望我们能有权利为动物谋取更多福利。”  防止虐待动物协会提供的数据显示,今年1月至7月间,协会共接获539起涉嫌虐待和疏忽照顾动物的报告,这相等于每月有77起。去年,协会共接到1027个由公众举报的虐待动物报告,该数据比前年多了10%。   为了正视并改善动物福利,政府今年成立了动物福利立法检讨委员会(Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee),以平衡动物福利与保护公众安全为原则,检讨现有的动物福利相关法令,并结合各方意见,对修改法令改善动物福利做出建议。宏茂桥集选区议员杨木光是委员会主席。   委员会在今年5月至7月间举行六场会议,同170名业者、基层领袖和动物福利团体等对话,听取意见。在上月初结束的网上公众咨询活动中,委员会收到的意见和建议超过500个。   杨木光受访时说:“委员会通过咨询活动意识到,还有很多人不明白,如果要顺利提控虐待动物者,必须有足够的证据。因此,委员会可能会提出相关建议,鼓励更多目击者挺身而出提供信息,协助虐待动物案件的调查。”  他也透露,加强政府与动物福利机构组织的合作联系,提高动物福利意识。与此同时,加强相关机构和合作伙伴间的社区网络。   委员会将在年底,向政府呈交动物福利立法检讨建议报告书。 本地的流浪猫狗近7万只,它们的生存与福利近年来受到了更广泛的关注——有爱好动物者利用闲暇时间,自发到工业区劝说工人善待狗儿;更有人定期到坟场照顾流浪猫。政府近年来也采取更积极态度,开展与动物福利组织的合作,同时检讨现有的动物福利相关法令,改善流浪猫狗的生存状态。 Source: zaobao.com

Berita Harian | July 14, 2011

Kembirikan kucing terbiar

PARA pencinta kucing dapat memanfaatkan program mengembirikan kucing terbiar menjelang 18 Julai ini. Penguasa Pertanian Makanan dan Ternakan (AVA) akan memulangkan semula 50 peratus daripada kos mengembiri kucing terbiar. Di samping itu, Persatuan Kebajikan Kucing (CWS) juga akan menambah subsidi sebanyak $10. Ini bermakna kos untuk mengembiri kucing jantan ialah sekitar $5 dan kucing betina pula di antara $5 dengan $22.50, bergantung kepada keadaan kucing tersebut, sama ada ia mengandung ataupun tidak. Program itu akan dilaksanakan di empat kawasan. Ini termasuk Majlis Bandaran Sembawang-Nee Soon, Majlis Bandaran Ang Mo Kio, Majlis Bandaran Tampines dan Majlis Bandaran Marine Parade. Mereka yang berminat perlu mendaftarkan diri dengan CWS dengan meninggalkan pesanan di nombor telefon 7000-2287647 atau e-mel ke [email protected] Source: Berita Harian

Business Times | July 12, 2011

Inter-agency task force to review animal policies
Stephanie Riady

THE Ministry of National Development (MND) has announced a plan to review current pet ownership and stray animal management policies through an inter-agency task force. This task force – comprising senior officials from MND, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) – will carry out a four-month review on policies related to dogs and cats, beginning July/August. As part of this review, AVA will jointly pilot a Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (SCSP) with the Cat Welfare Society and participating Town Councils. AVA will subsidise 50 per cent of sterilisation costs – up to $30 for a male cat and $60 for a female cat – and $20 to microchip the cat. ‘We acknowledge that people have different views and preferences to animals,’ said Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower. ‘However, as animals are part of our overall living environment, we will need to find ways for the authorities, residents and stakeholders to forge partnerships and find workable solutions to address the issues and concerns.’ In recognition of the work of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA), MND and AVA have also secured a 0.8 ha site in Sungei Tengah for its use – more than double the size of SPCA’s current site at Mount Vernon. MND’s efforts come at a time of growing public awareness and concern for animals, and a push for feasible solutions to animal-related concerns. Source: Business Times

Straits Times | July 12, 2011

Task force to review pet ownership policies
Janice Tai

THE question of whether cats can be kept in Housing Board (HDB) flats will be among the issues tackled by an inter-agency task force led by the Ministry of National Development (MND). The task force, which includes senior officials from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the HDB, will begin work this month to review pet ownership and stray animal management policies. The work, which will take four months, will focus on some key concerns and issues related to dogs and cats. Currently, the HDB does not allow cats to be kept in its flats, and allows only one dog of an approved small breed per residential unit. The announcement of the review by Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday comes about a month after a June 2 blog post by Mr Khaw Boon Wan. The National Development Minister wrote then that he had asked the AVA to review its practice of culling stray cats. He also tasked Brigadier-General (NS) Tan with working with the AVA, animal welfare groups and residents to ‘forge a compassionate and mature approach’ to the problem. Speaking on the sidelines of his first official visit to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) yesterday, BG Tan said the impetus for the review came from the fact that pet ownership has gone up significantly over the years. The number of dog licences issued has increased from about 56,000 in 2008 to 59,000 last year. Cats do not need to be licensed. ‘So, I think it is important to now start focusing on going into a lot more details about the policies involved,’ said BG Tan, who was at the SPCA to understand more about the work of the country’s oldest animal welfare charity. Noting that there had been tensions between animal lovers and others who may find animals a nuisance, he added: ‘I think it is important for us to find out how to create a common space for people. It is not really about animals per se; it is really about the common space, the living environment that our people live in.’ The AVA received about 3,500 and 2,900 complaints on stray cats and stray dogs respectively last year. The review will collect feedback from residents, town councils and animal welfare groups. In addition, from this month, the AVA will pilot a Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme as an alternative means of managing the problem. It is a collaboration between the AVA, participating town councils and the Cat Welfare Society (CWS). It will be carried out in specific zones under Sembawang-Nee Soon, Tampines, Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade town councils. The AVA will subsidise 50 per cent of sterilisation costs – up to $30 for male cats and $60 for females – and $20 to microchip the animal. CWS will chip in with $10 for each cat, and the remaining amount will be borne by the caregiver – the person who feeds the cat and takes it for sterilisation. The SPCA will subsidise 50 per cent of the sterilisation costs in the MacPherson division in Marine Parade. The AVA had previously worked with animal welfare groups and town councils under a Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme to control the numbers through sterilisation and care of the sterilised animal by volunteers. This scheme was terminated in 2003 as there was no reduction in the number of strays or complaints. Animal welfare groups welcome the move to review policies. ‘We have always believed that sterilisation was the more humane and effective approach to significantly reducing the stray cat population. Culling over decades has proven ineffective,’ said Ms Deirdre Moss, outgoing executive director of SPCA. Groups like CWS and Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres) are happy that the public will be consulted, and that various agencies are working together in this review. Mr Louis Ng, executive director of Acres, said: ‘Members of the public want to be engaged in the policy formulation. The subsidy from AVA also helps to remove a huge burden for us so that more cats can be sterilised.’ It was also announced yesterday that the SPCA will be relocating in about three years to a 0.8ha site in Sungei Tengah. The new site is double the size of its current Mount Vernon facility, which can house about 180 animals. The SPCA, which can currently house up to 180 animals, will get a much-needed expansion when it relocates in about three years. It was announced yesterday that the SPCA will move to a 0.8ha site in Sungei Tengah, double the size of its current facility. Source: Straits Times

TODAY | July 12, 2011

Task force to review pet ownership policies
Sara Grosse

SINGAPORE — The current policies on owning pets, as well as how stray animals are managed in Singapore, will undergo a four-month review, with an inter-agency task force set up to spearhead the effort. With Singaporeans becoming more concerned about animal welfare, the review will seek feedback and suggestions to develop feasible solutions, with the “ultimate objective” of creating a “conducive shared living environment for everyone”, said a statement issued by the Ministry of National Development (MND) yesterday. The task force will include officials from the MND, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and will reach out to the town councils, residents and animal welfare groups. Said Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, who visited the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) premises yesterday: “It’s not really about animals per se, it’s about the common space, the living environment that all of our people live in. As you know, we in the HDB flats, we all live in very close proximity.” He added that the HBD would be reviewing its policies on keeping cats as pets. Cats are currently not allowed to be kept as pets in HDB flats As part of the review, the AVA will pilot a Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) as an alternative means of managing stray cats. The programme will be carried out with the town councils of Sembawang-Nee Soon, Tampines, Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade. The AVA will bear 50 per cent of sterilisation and micro-chipping costs. Echoing National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan who initially wrote about the issue of culling cats on his blog, BG (NS) Tan said culling should not be advocated as the answer to getting rid of stray cats and the programme is important with the surge in pet ownership. During the time of the SARS illness, the AVA stopped sterilising cats. Since then, sterilisation has been carried out with support from the CWS reimbursement scheme and SPCA’s sterilisation voucher scheme. The coordinating chairman for People’s Action Party Town Councils, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said that while town councils support the sterilisation of cats, they are concerned about who will adopt the animals after that. He said town councils are willing to work with organisations that can ensure the sterilised stray cats are adopted to avoid the abuse and dumping of animals. SPCA executive officer Deirdre Moss said sterilisation has helped reduce the number of stray cats the SPCA takes in. Said Ms Moss: “With government support, I think in the next few years you will see an even further drop which means less animals need to be put down.” Separately, the MND and the AVA has secured a site in Sungei Tengah to relocate the SPCA. It will be twice the size of SPCA’s current Mount Vernon site. Source: TODAY

Channel News Asia | July 11, 2011

Taskforce to look into pet ownership, stray animal policies

SINGAPORE: An inter-agency taskforce has been formed to conduct a four-month review that focuses on current pet ownership and stray animal management policies. The taskforce comprises officials from the National Development Ministry (MND), the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB). It will meet this month to discuss key concerns and issues related to cats and dogs. The task force will gather feedback from Town Councils, residents and animal welfare groups. Minister of State for National Development and Manpower, BG Tan Chuan-Jin, said: “It’s important for us to figure out how to create a common space for people. So it’s not really about animals per se, it’s about the common space, the living environment that all of our people live in. As you know, in HDB flats, we all live in very close proximity.” Bank analyst Rufus Chan, 29, who currently does not own a pet, said: “I am not troubled by whatever concerns non-pet owners may have because animals are part of nature and have become a way of my life. “I recently read they’re looking to allow cats to be kept in HDB flats. I mean what took them so long to look into such matters?” As part of the review, AVA will pilot a Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (SCSP) as an alternative way of managing stray cats. AVA will subsidise 50 per cent of sterilisation costs and S$20 to microchip the cats. This project is a joint collaboration between AVA, the town councils and the Cat Welfare Society. This is to better address issues such as abandoned pets, which contribute to the problem of stray cats. It is also a move welcomed by the SPCA, which sees the number of stray cats it takes in decreasing due to sterilisation. SPCA’s Executive Director, Deirdre Moss, said: “If it picks up, and with government support, I think in the next few years you will see an even further drop, which means less animals need to be put down.” During the SARS period, AVA ceased sterilising cats. Since then, sterilisation was carried out with support from the Cat Welfare Society’s reimbursement scheme and SPCA’s sterilisation voucher scheme. It is now important to bring the programme back, as there has been a surge in pet ownership. The programme will initially be carried out with the town councils of Sembawang-Nee Soon, Tampines, Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade. And town councils said they are willing to work with any organisation to ensure cats that have been sterilised, are later adopted. Commenting on the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme, cat owner Siti Abdullah, 25, said: “You can’t go out and sterilise all the stray cats out there. There is a need to exercise a level of control. “Unless there are too many stray cats in a particular neighbourhood and those residents call for such a SCSP programme to be implemented, there’s no need to implement this programme. If the neighbourhood is happy living with stray cats, then focus on caring for them – like food and medical care.” Source: Channel News Asia

Zaobao | July 12, 2011

流浪受虐动物将有新家
杨漾

防止虐待动物协会将迁往双溪登雅(Sungei Tengah)新会所,新址占地0.8公顷,比协会现有会所占用地段大一倍,能收容更多动物。   政府为协会提供面积更大地段建新会所,是以此肯定协会过去27 年来在动物福利和管理流浪猫狗的课题上所做出的贡献。   目前,协会在翡珑山路(Mount Vernon)占用地段的地契,将在 2012年10月满期。当局现在特地批准地契另延长两年,以使协会有更从容的时间完成新会所的建筑工程。   目前,“野猫绝育试验计划” 只计划在4个集选区内实行。据了解,其他没有参与计划的市镇理事会在管理野猫课题上仍有一定的自主权,但陈川仁认为,扑杀野猫不应该被当做是一个被默认的方法。 “我希望这个计划成功实施之后,能成为一个范例,让其他市镇理事会效仿。”   不过,他也坦承,由于空间有限,无限制地收留流浪动物,也不是一个明智的做法。他说:“如果收养它们的环境变得拥挤,将它们人道毁灭或许是更人道和实际的做法。” 野猫绝育计划实行范围   三巴旺—义顺:忠邦区第101—第176座组屋   宏茂桥:洋厝港区宏茂桥3道—6道,第119—第128座组屋   淡滨尼:淡滨尼东区44街、45街,第461—第471座组屋和第485A —第490B座组屋   马林百列:麦波申区裕盛路(Joo Seng)第1—第18座组屋;巴南路(Balam)第19—第36座组屋三所参与计划的兽医诊所   AMK兽医手术中心;Acacia兽医诊所;Light of Life兽医诊所及服务 Source: zaobao.com

Zaobao | July 12, 2011

农粮局资助一半手术费四集选区试行野猫绝育计划
杨漾

从本月底开始,三巴旺—义顺、宏茂桥、淡滨尼和马林百列4个集选区的组屋区,将率先实行“野猫绝育试验计划”,以更人道的方式控制野猫数量。   这是由国家发展部、农粮与兽医局和建屋发展局所进行的跨部门合作的一个计划。各部门工作小组也将检讨和评估宠物主人责任制以及管理流浪猫狗的问题,为期4个月。   国家发展部昨天在发文告宣布采取这个措施时指出,在野猫绝育试验计划下,农粮与兽医局将与猫福利协会合作,协助参与计划的市镇会将捕捉到的野猫,送往3个指定的兽医诊所进行绝育和微晶片植入手术,并监测计划实行后的效果。   农粮兽医局将资助一半的手术费用,每只雄猫该局将承担30元,而绝育手术较复杂、费用较高的雌猫,该局则资助60元。此外,每为一只野猫植入微晶片,该局会多补贴20元。   事实上,农粮与兽医局在1998年也曾推出过“野猫绝育计划”( Stray Cats Rehabilitation Scheme),但据说当时成效有限,计划只实行了5年,于2003年停止实施。    国家发展部兼人力部政务部长陈川仁准将昨天走访防止虐待动物协会(SPCA)。他在接受记者访问时说,跨部门合作的焦点不光是针对流浪动物,同时也要检讨如何为民众创造一个更舒适的生活环境。   他说:“组屋住家之间的距离比较近,有时猫会闯入民居,也有居民投诉猫叫声太吵,使他们不胜其扰。而且,近年来养宠物的人增加了,我觉得现在正是与不同部门重新检讨相关条例的恰当时机。”   农粮局提供的统计资料显示,本地发放的宠物狗执照,已从2008 年约5万6000张,增加到去年的5万9000张。陈川仁希望,在各部门积极鼓励人们负责任养宠物以及加紧管制流浪动物的情况下,民众会更有信心和当局一起改善居住环境。探讨放宽养宠物猫狗条例   放宽组屋住家养宠物猫狗的条例,也是跨部门工作小组接下来计划探讨的课题。   陈川仁说:“原则上,组屋住家不允许养猫,而且条例也限制人们养宠物狗的种类。但事实上,很多人都在组屋住家养猫,所以现在我们将重新评估这些条例,如重新规定宠物狗的身型大小、品种等。管制条例可能会放宽。” Source: zaobao.com

新明日报 | July 11, 2011

为猫绝育试验计划当局给予补贴一只雄猫$30 一只雌猫$60
宋慧纯

国家发展部今早宣布,与农粮兽医局和建屋局跨部门合作检讨宠物和流浪动物问题,农粮兽医局本月起推出一项“为野猫进行绝育手术的试验性计划”,以有效地控制5个地区的野猫数量。   这5个地区是三巴旺、义顺、淡滨尼、宏茂桥和马林百列。   马林百列集选区议员陈川仁,今早也参观防止虐待动物协会。   陈川仁说:“每个人对动物的看法和定义不同,流浪猫狗在组屋区的噪音,可能给居民造成一些困扰,这也就是我们先行推出这项计划的原因之一。”   农粮局表示,为野猫绝育的费用,将一半由农粮局承担。   每为一只雄野猫绝育,农粮局将补贴高达30元的金额。每一只雌 猫,当局则会补贴高达60元。另外,当局还会多补贴20元,为每只猫 植入微晶片。   农粮局说,当局将在4个月后,重新检讨这项试性计划。过去,当局为了控制市镇内的野猫数量,曾经推行安乐死。 SPCA新址在双溪登雅   防止虐待动物协会,也将搬迁到更大的新址。   农粮局与国家发展部为防止虐待动物协会在双溪登雅,找到一个 0.8公顷的新办公处。   协会现址的地契将在2012年10月结束,当局还特地通融协会,在现址运作多两年,至到新址的工程完成。   国家发展政务部长陈川仁,今早也参观防止虐待动物协会。

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