More should be done to assess suitability of those looking to buy a pet: Cat Welfare Society

On top of pet licensing conditions, pet retailers should be required to make house visits or meet up with family members to examine whether the customer can care for the pet responsibly, said the Cat Welfare Society.
Faris Mokhtar Channel NewsAsia 19 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE: More should be done to further assess the suitability of customers before they can purchase a pet animal, said the Cat Welfare Society. This, it added, would help deter pet abandonment.

The animal welfare organisation said pet retailers should be required to make house visits or meet up with family members to examine whether the customer can care for the pet responsibly. It said this should come on top of the pet licensing conditions put in place last year by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

These include making it mandatory for retailers to conduct pre-sale screening through a pet purchase declaration form.

"I find that if anytime people find it as easy to purchase an animal - be it at a regulated pet shop where you can enforce, and you also have the additional problem of unregulated places - unlicensed breeders who you can't track and because you can't track them, you can't regulate them," said Ms Thenuga Vijakumar, president of the Cat Welfare Society

Meanwhile, the Cat Welfare Society has also launched a commemorative book on the furry felines titled Society of Cats. The aim is to educate and create awareness among the public, including those who may not be actively involved in the cat activism scene.

Discussions on animal welfare was also held as part of the book launch, attended by animal activist and Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng. Some issues discussed included how parties, including Government agencies, can work together more effectively.

"It's like the cat killings in Nee Soon, AVA is actively working on this and with the assistance of the police. We have volunteers coming in past midnight patrolling the ground. I think that is where we are going to make progress,” he said.

“If we work in isolation, we can only go this far. But with more collaborations, more synergy, we can really progress much further and much faster."

- CNA/ek

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