Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/11/2012 03:24 | By Channel NewsAsia

4 thrusts for recommendations by Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee

4 thrusts for recommendations by Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee

4 thrusts for recommendations by Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee

SINGAPORE: Recommendations to strengthen the current laws on animal welfare will be finalised soon.

The committee, which was set up in April, is chaired by Yeo Guat Kwang — a member of the Ministry of National Development’s Government Parliamentary Committee and MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.

The committee also comprises community grassroots leaders and representatives from the animal welfare groups, pet industry and the veterinary profession.

Acting Minister for Manpower and Senior Minister of State for National Development (MND), Tan Chuan—Jin, said the recommendations will be submitted to the MND in the coming months.

There will be four key aspects.

These are: ensuring reasonable care and welfare of animals; stepping up action against wrong—doers; fostering greater responsibility in the industry to ensure animal welfare; and fostering greater responsibility among pet owners and greater community awareness of animal welfare.

Mr Tan also highlighted a pilot project to allow HDB residents to adopt and re—home stray dogs in their flats.

Mr Tan said: "Certainly, I am keen to create this common space. So I think we need to work together and move forward at a pace that is comfortable for all concerned. For example, in HDB flats, we know that there are certain types of dogs that are approved. We are looking at, with this project, having medium—sized dogs, like mongrels, in our HDB estates."

Miko, a two—year—old mongrel, is one example. Once a stray dog roaming the streets, she has now been adopted by loving owners.

Adopters need to adhere to strict requirements, such as sending the dogs for training courses.

President of Action for Singapore Dogs, Ricky Yeo, said: "We’re extremely careful. We do a lot of background checks on the potential adopters, making sure that they have the right experience, right attitude about having a dog. We also check on their environment, like their neighbours, even their apartment and all, make sure that it’s conducive. There is a whole framework that they have to abide by, including a code of responsible behaviour."

The owners themselves also need to be considerate to prevent disputes with other residents.

Sharon Lee, a dog owner, said: "When I bring her out for walk, I will make sure that children or our Malay neighbours are not in the lift. If they are, we will ask them to go ahead and we will take the next lift. We will try not to take the same lift, in case she scares them."

Another dog owner, Lester Teo, said: "We make it a point to always leash her, never to off—leash her. And there’s no need to muzzle her because first, she’s not an aggressive breed and she’s very calm by nature as well. Other than that, we just keep her locked behind the doors when we are at home."

Under the project, 14 dogs have been adopted and re—homed.

— CNA/ck

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