Karen Koh, an occasional dog feeder who is not related to any animal rights group, has shared a video on a puppy consuming a rat carcass at the hil next to the Bukit Batok MRT station said to be infested with rats.
This video was taken about three to four months ago.
Ms Koh does not reside in Bukit Batok and therefore only feed the dogs when she passes by the MRT station.
“I don’t always see them (the dogs) but when I do I will buy a few packs of rice from the food stall nearby for the strays,” she said.
“Every time I feed they will eat up the food in less than one minute. I will then pick up the food wrapper and throw it away,” pointing out this shows that the dogs are hungry most of the time.
She shared that she did went back to the MRT station after news broke about the rat infestation but she did not see the dogs. “I supposed the AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore) caught most of them.”
“I shared the video hoping that the authorities can stop putting blame on the dogs. It wasn’t the dogs. I do hope the government can arrange for sterilisation instead of culling.”
Ms Koh also wrote on her Facebook page:
“I hope this video proves that the more strays are caught and killed the more pest you get in returned. I feed the BB strays whenever I pass by, I can only say that they were so hungry they wiped out the food in less than one minute. They fight over food for survival, you can see in the video that the younger puppies or weaker ones will usually lose out and had to eat rats instead. How can they say that the strays are leaving food rubbish and caused the infestation of rats? They don’t even have enough food to eat! They’re all starving! In fact, the strays are helping to eat up the rats! It is clear that the rats started to outnumber the strays because the strays were all caught and taken away.”
Ms Koh hopes that her video will go viral to inform people and avoid taking more innocent lives.
“Dog feeders at fault” – CNA misquoted dog welfare group
TOC reported earlier that 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.
Channel News Asia in its report said, “Residents affected by the rat problem in Bukit Batok have appealed to the authorites to stop feeders to stop feeding the stray dogs, which apparently seems to be the root cause of the problem.”
“Dog feeders at fault” – AVA plans to continue “stray dog operations”
AVA on the other hand has said, “As there continues to be public feedback about aggressive stray dogs in the Bukit Batok area, AVA will be continuing our stray dog control operations there,” said an AVA spokesman.
About 40 stray dogs were rounded up in the Bukit Batok area this year, according to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). The authority said it received 100 complaints in 2014 regarding the dogs in the area around Bukit Batok Central, and on those who feed them.
The authorities have also said that the rat infestation near Bukit Batok MRT station has been exacerbated by those who leave food for stray dogs without clearing the leftovers.
“While the feeding of stray animals is well-intended, feeding becomes an offence when it causes littering of the environment,” said the AVA spokesman. “The feeding of stray dogs results in the proliferation of their population as well as the population of undesirable pest species (e.g. rodents and other vermin) which will cause hygiene and sanitation issues.
“We appeal to the public to cooperate by not feeding stray dogs. AVA is working with the relevant agencies to address the issue of stray dog feeding and the public hygiene issues caused by such actions,” the AVA spokesman added.