As number rises to alarming levels, SPCA calls for action
Thursday • February 28, 2008
Leong Wee Keat
AS THE number of abandoned pedigree dogs shot up alarmingly last year, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has urged the authorities to tighten the import, commercial breeding and sale of such dogs.
Three years ago, about one in four lost and unwanted dogs was a purebred. This number rose to “alarming levels” last year, with one in two unwanted dogs a pedigreed. Overall, the SPCA received an average of 250 lost or unwanted dogs each month last year.
The trend shows no signs of abating. Last month, the SPCA received 125 lost and unwanted pedigreed dogs alone. Some reasons cited by owners giving up their canines included leaving the country, moving house, expecting a child and — a frequent excuse — no time to look after it.
In light of this, SPCA has written in to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) asking for curbs to be placed on the import and commercial breeding or sale of pedigree dogs.
“It’s time to take stock of the number being bred, sold and imported annually and to see if there are enough homes for them,” SPCA executive officer Deirdre Moss told Today. “There is definitely a surplus (of pedigreed dogs) and too many people buying on the spur of the moment.”
Another animal welfare group, Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), supported SPCA’s call. Over the last six months, ASD president Ricky Yeo said the society has seen a 20 to 30 per cent increase in pedigreed strays being picked up.
Even more worryingly, he notes, this trend means that the chances of rescued local mongrels being adopted have also eroded, as pedigreed dogs are seen as being “superior”. At ASD, the adoption rate for pedigrees is on the rise, while that for mongrels has been slipping, said Mr Yeo.
An AVA spokesperson said the authority understands SPCA’s concerns but reiterated that Singapore operates on “a free market system”. He said: “It would not be appropriate to restrict the number and type of dogs imported or bred and sold commercially as long as the pet business is legal and complies with the regulations and applicable conditions.”
With the revision of the Animals and Birds (Licensing and Control) Rule last September, the spokesperson said AVA has also introduced several measures — such as compulsory microchipping and introduction of a differential fee for sterilised and unsterilised pet dogs — to discourage abandonment. Tighter controls on breeding dog populations on dog farms were also put in place.
Ms Moss urged would-be owners to think long-term before getting a dog. “Dogs require a lot of attention, socialisation and training,” she said. “Your part of the bargain also has to be fulfilled — you have to spend time with them and communicate with them. It is not unlike having a child.”
Under the Animals and Birds Act, a person found guilty of abandonment of an animal could be fined up to $10,000 or jailed a year, or both.
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Call for a BAN on import of dogs as well as the breeding of dogs. Many of the dogs come from hell-hole dog breeding mills overseas as well as in Singapore. Just pop by Pasir Ris farmway and look beyond the nice sale front into the back of the breeding farms and see the bad conditions the bitches and studs are in – many have terrible skin conditions.
Is AVA more concern of offending “dog” business people than the welfare of dogs?
There are enough abandoned dogs in shelters to satisfy the need of genuine people who care about dogs. Why is there a need to meet the need of people who buy dogs like they buy Gucci bags! And discard them like they discard things they lose interest in after a while. These are selfish people who do not deserve the love of a loyal dog! They are the ones who should be abandoned to suffer!
Speak out for these animals because only we have the voices to do that for them!
NEVER BUY PETS!
BOYCOTT SHOPS THAT SELL PETS!
TELL YOUR FRIENDS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR ANIMAL COMPANIONS TO ADOPT FROM SHELTERS!