West Highland white Terrier at a park (Source : Shutterstock).

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has announced that it will be amending the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules in early 2017 to introduce revisions to the current dog licensing regime.

According to AVA, the revisions will improve the traceability of pet dogs in Singapore, to ensure their traceability in event of a disease outbreak such as rabies, discourage pet abandonment, and help AVA reunite lost dogs with their owners.

All dogs intended for sale by pet businesses must be licensed before they are sold under the revised licensing regime. In addition, when a dog is sold, pet businesses will be required to transfer the ownership of the dog to the new owner via AVA’s online portal for pet licensing – Pet Animal Licensing System (PALS). All pet dogs intended for sale must be licensed before sale

Currently, dogs intended for sale by pet businesses are not required to be licensed to the pet businesses. Under the revised licensing regime, these pet businesses must licence the dogs before they are sold. At the point of sale, they are required to transfer the ownership of their dogs to the buyers via PALS. This will ensure that the pet dogs continue to be licensed and traceable when sold to new owners.

They will be able to register multiple dogs intended for sale under a single “Group” licence to make it more convenient for dog farms and pet shops to comply with the revised licensing requirements. The licensing fees will be tiered according to the maximum number of dogs intended for sale.

AVA’s CEO, Ms Tan Poh Hong, said, “These revisions take into consideration feedback from the pet businesses and will improve traceability of all pet dogs, starting from the source of the dogs. Traceability is important, especially if there is a disease outbreak such as rabies. The revisions will also strengthen the accountability of pet businesses and dog owners for their dogs, further safeguarding them against abandonment. AVA is working closely with affected pet businesses to prepare them for the changes, and address any issues encountered, to ensure a smooth rollout of these revisions. They will be given sufficient time to adjust their processes to comply with the new requirements.”

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