We refer to two Forum letters – “Worrying trend of puppies for sale” (April 16) and “Shops should give up older unsold puppies to AVS for adoption” (April 21).
We thank Mr Chia Teck Joo and Ms Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon for their concerns.
The Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board, licenses all pet shops to safeguard the health and welfare of animals.
Licensing conditions include ensuring that all aspects of animal welfare (for example, housing, management and veterinary care) are regulated and that appropriate animal disease-prevention measures are in place.
Proper records of all animals – both sold and unsold – must be kept for identification and traceability of animals.
Pet shop operators must also attend structured training on pet welfare and animal management conducted by AVS-recognised course providers.
AVS officers conduct regular inspections to ensure compliance with these licensing conditions.
Enforcement measures are taken for breaching AVS’ pet shop licensing conditions, and these range from composition sum to prosecution in court and suspension of the pet shop licence.
Additionally, AVS encourages pet shops to adopt best practices to further raise the standard of animal welfare and professionalism in the pet retail industry.
This includes ensuring an optimal living environment and comfort for the animals. Pet shops are graded according to their compliance with licence conditions and their adoption of best practices.
Safeguarding animal welfare is a shared social responsibility.
While AVS continues to ensure that enforcement action is taken and to raise awareness of animal welfare in the pet retail industry, members of the public can play a part by promptly reporting suspected cases of animal mistreatment to AVS via our website at www.avs.gov.sg/feedback or by calling our Animal Response Centre on 1800-476-1600.
As with all investigations, all forms of evidence are critical to the process, and photographic and/or video evidence provided by the public will help.
Information shared with AVS will be kept strictly confidential.
Chua Tze Hoong (Dr)
Animal and Veterinary Service
National Parks Board