Please ban the slaughter of animals in restaurants, foodstalls and markets

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We refer to these two letters in the press

Thursday • August 30, 2007

Letter from Deirdre Moss
Executive Officer
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

I refer to the letter, “It’s cruel for stalls to display live seafood in ‘death row’ tanks? by Tan Chek Wee (Weekend Today, August 25-26). The SPCA would like to thank him for highlighting the importance of humane treatment of any creature that is to become food. The SPCA shares his concerns.

For several years, we have raised the issue of live reptiles being kept and slaughtered at markets (in particular the Chinatown market) and restaurants, with the relevant authorities.

In a time when viruses are rife, the SPCA is not only concerned with the welfare of these animals — regarding their storage and humane slaughter — but also with public health.

There are guidelines for those involved in the slaughter of exotic animals. But unless there is constant monitoring, it is highly questionable whether these animals would be kept in comfortable conditions and humanely killed.

Live crabs are a common sight island-wide, stacked up on top of one another with their claws tied. More recently, we have written in to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) about a very large turtle kept in a container the size of its own body at the Chinatown market.

As long as these animals are in demand at dining tables, and as long as society deems these practices acceptable, their suffering will not stop.

The SPCA will follow up on this matter with the AVA.

If anyone witnesses food animals being kept in poor conditions or treated cruelly, please report it to us at 6287 5355 and we will raise the matter with the authorities.

Weekend • August 25, 2007

Letter from Dr Tan Chek Wee

I wish to express my concern about the display of live crabs and frogs in tanks at eating places such as coffeeshops and even hawker centres. I was told that there are even stalls with live turtles, ready to be slaughtered into a dish. While I’m not asking everyone to be vegetarian, as intelligent human beings, we can be more compassionate in the way we treat animals, even those that are meant for food.I want to know if the storing and killing of these live animals in such eating places contravenes the “The Animals and Birds Act?.

How does the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) ensure that the method of killing does not inflict suffering on the animals before they are cooked?

Are the stallholders taught the “least painful? method of killing these animals?

Are they aware of possible health risks in the handling of live animals?

Are customers aware that in the process of killing, there is risk of contamination from blood and faecal matter, which may contain harmful viruses and bacteria?

Perhaps the AVA should certify such stallholders who have received proper training with a unique logo that can be displayed on their stalls.

I hope that one day, I do not need to avoid coffeeshops with display of live animals because frogs staring at me in the “death-row? tank kills my appetite

We hereby, appeal to you to impose a ban on the slaughter of animals,including reptiles (such as turtles), crabs and fishes in restaurants, food stalls and markets.

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Filed under Blog, cruelty

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