The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has retracted its notice for dog owners to "debark" their dogs which may "cause nuisance" to residents.
In response to media query, the HDB said:
"The notice had meant to seek the assistance of dog owners to help manage the issue of excessive dog barking at an Ang Mo Kio block, arising from complaints received. We agree it should have been handled more sensitively."
The matter came to light after a notice by the HDB’s Ang Mo Kio branch was posted online.
The notice, which was evidently sent on 22 August to residents, advised dog owners that “debarking your dog through surgery” was one way to “control your dog from barking”.
The notice was sent, HDB said, after it had “received feedback about dog barking nuisance in the middle of the night at Blk 601 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5.”
HDB’s notice was slammed online by many, including animal lovers groups, for being inhumane and for providing ill advice.
In its response on Thursday, the HDB said, "Debarking should only be considered by pet owners as a last resort when all other measures, especially training, are ineffective and only if the dog owner considers it an option.”