Pet shops, farms to face tighter licensing conditions

Today Online 29 Mar 17;

SINGAPORE — The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has revised its licensing conditions for pet shops and farms to “tighten existing regulations and raise animal welfare standards in Singapore”.

With effect from next month, changes will be made to improve the housing and management of animals, enhance traceability of animals and accountability of pet businesses, and improve healthcare.

For example, dogs kept together must be compatible and there must be enough space for each dog to move, turn around and stretch. Puppies must be microchipped by nine weeks old and kittens, by twelve weeks old.

All breeding dogs must undergo an annual health check by a licensed veterinarian. They must also be kept separately from retired breeding dogs.

The AVA said on Tuesday (March 28) that the revisions to the licensing conditions were finalised after consultation with various parties.

“We sought feedback from key stakeholders such as pet businesses, animal welfare groups and the Pets Enterprises & Traders Association, Singapore (PETAS), to seek suggestions and understand concerns,” said Ms Jessica Kwok, group director of the AVA’s Animal Management Group.

The AVA said it will continue to work closely with the pet industry to ensure smooth implementation of the revised conditions.

In January, the AVA announced that all dogs intended for sale by pet businesses must be licensed before they are sold. Individual dog owners who sell or give their dogs away will also have to inform the AVA that they are no longer keeping the dogs.

The AVA had said then that the moves are aimed at improving the traceability of pet dogs in Singapore, especially in the event of a disease outbreak such as rabies. They are also meant to discourage pet abandonment and help reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Apart from dogs and cats, other animals that are allowed for sale include rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, chinchillas and red-eared terrapins. A shop needs to obtain an AVA licence before it can display, sell, distribute or export pets.

While the AVA has been taking various steps to raise animal welfare standards in Singapore, it noted on Tuesday that safeguarding animal welfare is a shared responsibility.

“The public can play an important role by being AVA’s eyes and ears, and provide feedback to AVA if they come across any animal welfare issues,” it said.

Members of the public can contact the AVA via its 24-hour hotline, 1800-476-1600.

Tighter licensing conditions for pet shops and farms to take effect in April: AVA
Channel NewsAsia 28 Mar 17;

SINGAPORE: All pet shops selling dogs and cats must meet tighter licensing conditions from April as part of efforts to raise animal welfare standards, announced the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Tuesday (Mar 28).

It added that this would also apply to pet farms which breed and house dogs.

Some of the revised regulations include:

- If two or more dogs are kept together, they must be compatible, and each dog must be able to move, turn around without hitting the sides of the kennel, stand upright, lie down and stretch.
- All retired breeding dogs must be kept separately from breeding dogs and segregated according to their gender.
- Puppies must be microchipped by nine weeks old and kittens microchipped by 12 weeks old.
- All breeding dogs must undergo an annual health check by a licensed veterinarian.
The changes, which take effect from Apr 1, were made to improve the housing, healthcare and management of animals, enhance their traceability and improve the accountability of pet businesses, said AVA.

It added that the revisions were finalised after consultation with the pet industry, including animal welfare groups and the Pets Enterprises and Traders Association, Singapore (PETAS).

"AVA will continue to work closely with the pet industry to ensure smooth implementation of the revised conditions," it said.

The authority has been taking steps to tighten existing regulations. In January, it announced that all dogs intended for sale by pet businesses must be licensed before they are sold. In addition, individual dog owners who sell or give their dogs away will have to inform AVA that they are no longer keeping the dogs.

- CNA/gs

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