SINGAPORE: From 1 January 2014, pet shops will not be allowed to sell cats, dogs and rabbits to those below 16 years old, unless the buyers are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.
The retailers will also have to screen potential customers for their suitability to own cats, dogs and rabbits before selling them one.
The shops will have to observe the requirements as part of their licensing conditions.
In a statement on Monday, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said the new licensing conditions are meant to reduce the problem of children buying pets on impulse and ensure that potential buyers understand the implications and responsibilities of owning a pet.
Ultimately, the measures are meant to minimise the problems of pet abandonment or poor pet care.
AVA said it will institute a six-month grace period to allow pet retailers to adjust and comply with the new licensing conditions.
Following that, it will take enforcement action against non-compliant retailers.
AVA also said it will actively work with the industry and animal welfare groups to raise public awareness of the new conditions and to look into the operational and enforcement issues that may arise. - CNA/ec
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