AVA issues code of animal welfare for pet owners

Channel NewsAsia 15 Jun 17;

SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Thursday (Jun 15) issued a new code of animal welfare for pet owners to take effect on the same day.

The Code of Animal Welfare (for Pet Owners) sets out minimum standards which pet owners are expected to meet regarding accountability, animal housing and environment and animal management and care.

Published on the AVA's website, the code specifies minimum standards all pet owners should meet, including on diet and feeding; how pets are housed, tethered and transported; what to do if a pet goes missing; as well as care guidelines for specific animals, for instance, cold-climate dog breeds.

“The issuance of the code is another step forward for animal welfare in Singapore," said the AVA's CEO Tan Poh Hong. "Owning a pet is a lifelong commitment and AVA has always advocated responsible pet ownership."

"With the code, pet owners will now have an official guide that explains their responsibilities," she said, adding that AVA would continue to work closely with pet owners, animal welfare groups and other stakeholders to enhance animal welfare standards in Singapore.

It is not an offence if a pet owner fails to meet a minimum standard in the code, however the AVA said that this failure could be used to "support prosecution or other enforcement actions for animal welfare cases".

The new code follows the establishment of a similar code for the pet industry in Singapore which AVA announced last August.

Both codes were drafted by the Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration Committee for Animal Welfare (MSCC), chaired by Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Alex Yam.

Established in October 2013, the MSCC is made up of private and public sector representatives including Members of Parliament, animal welfare groups, vets and the AVA.

SOME GUIDELINES FOR PET OWNERS

- If your pet is lost, make a missing pet report to the police or AVA, and make an effort to find it such as putting up "missing pet" advertisements.

- Pets should be housed in a well-ventilated, comfortable and clean environment. They should not be exposed to excessive noise, sunlight, heat or strong winds.

- Pets that are not compatible should be housed separately.

- Keep your pet in a safe area where it cannot easily escape or be released accidentally.

- Tethers should be fastened to a secure object that will not fall or hurt your pet.

- When using a carrier, make sure your pet can stand, turn around and lie down in it.

- Observe your pet daily and take it to the vet if you notice any signs of illness.

Source: CNA/nc

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