Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


9,706 Pets Lost Their Homes

3 Feb 2007 (TODAY)

EVEN as Singapore is looking at relaxing its pet quarantine rules, the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) reported on Friday
that it took in 9,706 animals last year.

While this is a six per cent dip from 2005, the SPCA continued to be
inundated with dogs - 2,727 in all, 29 per cent of them pedigree pets - in
the Year of the Dog.

Owners of these pedigree dogs cited "no time", "emigrating" or "moving to
a HDB flat" as reasons for surrendering their pets.

A third of all the dogs received were lost pets, and of this group, only
about a third were claimed by their owners. One problem is that many
people are not micro-chipping their pets and registering them with the
Agri-food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), said SPCA executive officer
Deirdre Moss. And while imported dogs are required by law to have
microchips, "there is no central register or record where the owner's
details can be traced", she added.

Pet owners are urged to have their animals sterilised and, if giving up
their pets, to find a home for them rather than simply leave them with the
SPCA. Last year, just 1,065 animals found homes in its adoption programme.

Meanwhile, at the opening of the new $4.6 million animal quarantine
station in Sembawang on Friday, Minister of State for National Development
Grace Fu said authorities are looking at making the "importing of animals
more friendly".

For one, cats and dogs from countries with minimal risk of rabies could
soon be imported without having to go through a 30-day quarantine, if
they meet the AVA's other test and vaccination requirements.

Currently, only pets from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and
Ireland are exempt from quarantine. Singapore itself has been free of
rabies since 1953.

Also, the luxurious new station - which replaces the old one in Jurong -
will ensure a more comfortable stay for quarantined pets, with animal
exercise areas and the option of air-conditioned rooms.