All pet dogs must be licensed before sale from early 2017: AVA

Channel NewsAsia 7 Nov 16;

SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will amend dog licensing rules in early 2017 such that all dogs intended for sale by pet businesses must be licensed before they are sold, it said in a press release on Monday (Nov 7).

Currently, dogs intended for sale by pet businesses are not required to be licensed to the pet businesses. Under the new rules, when a dog is sold, pet businesses will be required to transfer the ownership of the dog to the new owner via AVA’s online portal for pet licensing - the Pet Animal Licensing System (PALS).

To make it more convenient for dog farms and pet shops to comply with the revised licensing requirements, they will be able to register multiple dogs intended for sale under a single “Group” licence. The licensing fees will be tiered according to the maximum number of dogs intended for sale, AVA stated.

The revisions will improve the traceability of pet dogs in event of a disease outbreak such as rabies, and help AVA reunite lost dogs with their owners, the authority said.

"The revisions will also strengthen the accountability of pet businesses and dog owners for their dogs, further safeguarding them against abandonment," said AVA CEO Tan Poh Hong. "AVA is working closely with affected pet businesses to prepare them for the changes, and address any issues encountered, to ensure a smooth rollout of these revisions. They will be given sufficient time to adjust their processes to comply with the new requirements," she added.

- CNA/am


Pet businesses will soon have to license dogs before sale: AVA
WONG PEI TING Today Online 7 Nov 16;

SINGAPORE – All dogs sold by pet shops, importers and farms will soon have to be licensed with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), even before they are sold.

AVA will be implementing the change to dog licensing rules from early next year. In addition, under the new rules, once a dog is sold, the ownership of the dog will have to be transferred to the new owner.

Such a move, AVA said, ensures that pet dogs are traceable in case of disease outbreak such as rabies. It will also help to discourage pet abandonment and assist the authorities reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Currently, dogs intended for sale are not required to be licensed to the pet businesses.

The revisions, said AVA chief executive officer Tan Poh Hong, will “strengthen the accountability of pet businesses and dog owners for their dogs, further safeguarding them against abandonment”.

He added that the agency is working closely with affected pet businesses to ensure a smooth roll-out of these revisions, and will be given sufficient time to comply with the new requirements.

To make it easier for pet businesses, they will be able to register multiple dogs intended for sale under a single “group” licence, with licensing fees tiered according to the maximum number of dogs intended for sale.

The transfer of ownership can also be done via the AVA’s online portal for pet licensing.

Calling the rule change a “long awaited, long needed move”, Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) president Ricky Yeo said animal welfare groups like ASD, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Animal Lovers League had been pushing for it for some five years now.

The 48-year-old added that he has seen a rising number of dog abandonment cases, from one to two cases every few months five years ago, to one to two cases involving pedigree dogs every month now.

He said the compulsory microchipping of dogs, introduced seven years ago, was not very useful in preventing dog abandonment as it was not mandated by law that owners’ particulars had to be updated.

This new licensing requirement, he said, will make pet businesses “compelled to follow through with the transfer of licensing”, otherwise, they remain liable for the dog’s well-being.

Animal Lovers League founder Cathy Strong said licensing dogs at the point of sale is the “only way to nip the problem (of pet abandonment) in the bud”.

Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, SPCA’s executive director, said that it is not uncommon to find a dog with a microchip that’s not registered in AVA’s system. Some 200 unclaimed pet dogs are left at the SPCA every year on average, and most of these animals have microchips that cannot be traced back to their owners, he added.

Home breeders, who are currently unregulated, will slip through the cracks as well, despite the new rules. “The new licensing rules does not apply to them and they continue to remain a loophole in the system,” said Dr Jaipal.

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