The Straits Times: Animal lovers call for stiffer penalties

In a panel set up to review the laws regarding animal welfare, many participants voted for more rigid penalties for animal cruelty, reports The Straits Times. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals noted that there has been a 10% increase in reports of crimes related to animal cruelty in the past year, most of them rooting from inadequate care of pets.

Animal lovers call for stiffer penalties

ANIMAL abusers can now be fined up to $10,000 and be jailed for a year, but concerned groups have called for stiffer penalties to stem the rising incidence of animal cruelty.

Member of Parliament Yeo Guat Kwang, who heads a panel set up to review legislation on animal welfare, said many of the 170 people consulted so far are in favour of tougher penalties.

But some have called for educating wrong-doers instead; those who are ignorant of proper animal care could do community service with animal welfare groups, they suggested.

The individuals consulted includevets, pet-shop operators and animal welfare groups.

Their calls come on the back of a rise in cases of animal cruelty. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said it received 1,027 reports of animal cruelty from the public last year – 10 per cent more than in the year before.

The SPCA noted that at least 70 per cent of the complaints were against pet owners who failed to provide adequate care of their pets. The remaining cases were instances of outright cruelty.

Mr Yeo was speaking at an event in Woodlands yesterday to get the public to adopt animals and learn more about animal care. The committee he heads was formed this year and comes under the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development.

Mr Yeo, a member of the GPC, said the committee will present its recommendations to the Government by the end of the year. He would not be drawn into specifying what the recommendations might be.

Animal groups said they are heartened that their views have been heard.

Ms Veron Lau, the president of the Cat Welfare Society, said: “The Government must also enforce these penalties strictly for there to be adequate deterrence against animal cruelty.

“Animal welfare groups can also chip in by helping with the investigations of suspected cases of animal cruelty.”

AVA mulls stiffer action to stop animal abuse

SINGAPORE: Be a responsible pet-owner, not only to your pets, but to your neighbours as well.

That was the message behind a pet care roadshow, organised by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

Sales were aplenty but it was the animals which took centrestage at Causeway Point Shopping Centre.

Besides getting close to the animals, shoppers also learnt more about proper pet care through exhibits and talks.

With pet abuse cases on the rise in Singapore, the AVA’s Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee has received feedback on ways to get tougher.

These include fines and jail as well as community service with an animal welfare group.

An e-consultation platform for the public to give suggestions for better animal welfare will be set up next month.

The committee will also recommend an accreditation scheme for pet businesses.

Chairman of Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee, Yeok Guat Kwang, said: “We have to make sure that the industry players really do their part by coming up with accreditation schemes to ensure that industry player will do the right thing.

“At the same time, they have the duty and responsibility to educate the buyers. Before they buy, they must make sure that they understand what are they getting and what kind of care and love they must give to the pets that they purchase.”

Image from houseofduke

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