1 in 2 bird shops does not comply with AVA licence conditions: Survey

Vanessa Lim Channel NewsAsia 4 Nov 16;

SINGAPORE: An undercover investigation of 36 shops selling birds found that more than half of them did not comply with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority's (AVA) licensing conditions, the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) said on Friday (Nov 4).

The survey, conducted by ACRES from August to September this year, found that 19 of the shops breached at least one of the conditions governing the welfare of the animals. These include failing to provide housing in good condition and clean drinking water for the birds.

Thirteen of them displayed birds that suffered from feather loss or visible lesions on their bodies or tails, while 17 sold bird traps for about S$70 each - even though it is illegal to poach wild animals in Singapore.

ACRES deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal pointed out that one in three of the shops surveyed actually possessed an "A" grade under AVA's pet shop grading scheme.

She called for a review of the current licence conditions as well as stricter enforcement of existing regulations.

As part of the survey, ACRES also said it found 655 advertisements offering birds for sale on Facebook and three online platforms from June to August. There are no regulations governing the welfare and ownership of these animals, it added.

AVA TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST 15 BIRD SHOPS

In a media release on Friday evening, AVA said it conducted a separate inspection of 27 bird shops that were also investigated by ACRES. AVA found that 15 of them did not comply with some of its licensing conditions and it will take action against those shops.

AVA's inspections were conducted in September and October. Its officers found nine shops which housed birds in dirty cages, four displayed sick birds, four did not provide clean drinking water to the birds and seven did not display their pet shop grade decals.

As for ACRES' finding of 655 online listings selling birds, AVA said 273 of them are related to birds protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). "AVA is working with ACRES to look into these listings," it said.

AVA said it conducts regular, unannounced inspections on all pet shops. It urged members of the public to report any cases of animal cruelty via its 24-hour hotline, 1800-476-1600.

- CNA/mz/dl


15 out of 27 pet bird shops flouted licensing conditions: AVA
Today Online 4 Nov 16;

SINGAPORE — More than half of 27 pet bird shops investigated had flouted the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA)’s licensing conditions, said the authority on Friday (Nov 4).

The AVA had investigated the pet bird shops following alleged offences in an Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) report.

Enforcement will be taken against the 15 shops that had not complied with licensing conditions, for instance by not keeping cages clean and displaying sick birds.

The ACRES report had found that 13 pet bird shops failed to house birds in a good condition. The AVA said during unannounced inspections held in September and October, it found nine shops with cages with dried faecal matter, “which is indicative that the cages have not been cleaned for a long time”. The nine shops will be issued a composition fine. The cages at the four other shops were found to be clean.

While ACRES reported that 13 pet bird shops displayed sick birds and 11 shops did not provide clean drinking water for the birds displayed for sale, the AVA said sick birds were displayed at four pet bird shops and four shops were found with unclean water and containers. The shops will be issued a composition fine. The shops with the sick birds were also instructed to isolate them and send them for treatment.

Seven pet bird shops did not display their pet shop grade decals, while eight did not prominently displayed them or were obstructed, said the AVA. The former group will each be issued a letter of warning, while the latter group has been instructed to shift their decals to a more prominent location.

In response to ACRES’ identification of 655 online listings selling birds — 273 of which were related to birds protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) — the AVA said it is working with ACRES to look into these listings.

The AVA said it has met with ACRES to share its findings.

“We will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any licensees for any non-compliance detected by AVA. We will continue with our regular inspections on pet shops, including bird retailers, to ensure that they comply with our licensing conditions,” it added.

The public can report animal cruelty cases to the AVA via its 24-hour hotline, 1800-476-1600.

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