Dog welfare group claims CNA cut its interview to suit its agenda

Local dog welfare group, Save Our Street Dog (SOSD) indicated in a Facebook post that Channel News Asia had edited the views of its outreach officer during the interview about the case of the Bukit Batok rats, making it seem as if SOSD placed the blame on the dog feeders for the rat infestation found at the hill next to the Bukit Batok MRT station.

SOSD claims that the final news report by CNA cut out most of the officer’s replies and clarifications to the news agency’s questions and only left the first part, which was used to fit CNA’s agenda.

The interview with the outreach officer, Ms Cheong Mei Yi, at 01:19 of the video below.

SOSD expressed its disappointment with the incident and hope that it is able to negotiate a middle ground so that dogs at the site will be not be culled by the relevant authorities.

For the past few days, government authorities and media have been leaning towards  the explanation that the food from dog feeders caused the rat infestation at the hill. However, observers have noted that there are also other food sources in the nearby vicinity, such as coffeeshops and supermarkets.

Mr Tan Cheng Bock, president candidate 2011 and former MP have also spoken on this issue and proposed that food stalls might be a concern when it comes to rat infestation.

dog food CNA pest control
Dog food said to be left by dog feeders – Photo: Star Pest Control

CNA had also reported that bags of dog food, estimated at 10 kg in weight, were found by the Pest Control Specialists at the rat infested hill.

Below is the post by SOSD in full.

There has been much attention on the stray dogs at Bukit Batok this past week.

A report on rat infestation broke out, prompting calls for a pest controller to exterminate the rats. Unfortunately, the rats are not the only ones that will be affected. Measures have also been stepped up to remove the stray dogs there. Four puppies have already been caught with more trapping planned. Rat poison is also being used, which, if ingested by the dogs, will cause them to die a slow and painful death.

Feeding of the stray dogs is blamed for the rat infestation. So now there is pressure to get rid of the dogs as well. From what we know, however, the stray dog feeders in Bukit Batok feed responsibly, taking care to clear up so that no rubbish is left behind. We do not know, however, if there others who have been leaving food there.

Channel News Asia interviewed SOSD’s Outreach Officer Meiyi about the stray dog feeding two days ago. In her interview, she was asked the situation in Bukit Batok, and how to feed responsibly.

Meiyi responded that stray dogs feeding is perfectly fine. You can prepare food, do your rounds, and feed the strays, but you have to come back and clear the remains that the dogs did not finish because that would actually bring about pests such as cockroaches and rats. We do not know if people leave food there. However, this is also a hill, and the dogs are difficult to reach, hence cleaning up can be difficult. Stray dog feeders are volunteers who fork out their money and time for the dogs, and cannot be blamed entirely. Education is important – the public should be educated to be more tolerant towards the strays dogs. Trap, Neuter, Release will be the best and most humane of keeping the stray numbers in check, not catching and culling.

We are disappointed that most of what Meiyi said got cut off except the first part, to be in line with the tone of the whole story, hence giving the impression that she was putting blame on the stray dogs feeders. Meiyi has been a stray dog feeder for several years, and her heart goes out to the feeders in Bukit Batok.

Our minds are on the pitiful stray dogs in Bukit Batok. We hope to be able to negotiate a middle ground, so that they may be shown some mercy. There are many solutions such as designating a feeding point to ensure cleanliness, and of course, sterilising the dogs to keep the population stable.

The first step to solving this is to contact the stray dog feeders, so that we have a collective voice. If you are a feeder in Bukit Batok MRT, or know the feeders, please contact us. Email us at: [email protected]