The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has announced a revision to pet shop (display and sale of dogs and cats) and pet farm (dog breeding and boarding) licensing conditions to tighten existing regulations and raise animal welfare standards in Singapore. The changes will take effect from 1 April 2017.
AVA stated that the changes were made to improve the housing and management of animals, enhance traceability of animals and accountability of pet businesses, and improve healthcare.
AVA noted examples of the changes include:
- If two or more dogs are kept together, they must be compatible, and each dog must be able to move, turn around without hitting the sides of the kennel, stand upright, lie down and stretch.
- All retired breeding dogs must be kept separately from breeding dogs and segregated according to their gender.
- Puppies must be microchipped by nine weeks old and kittens microchipped by twelve weeks old.
- All breeding dogs must undergo an annual health check by a licensed veterinarian.
Ms Jessica Kwok, Group Director of AVA’s Animal Management Group, explained that the revisions were finalised following AVA’s consultation with the pet industry, "We sought feedback from key stakeholders such as pet businesses, Animal Welfare Groups and the Pets Enterprises & Traders Association, Singapore (PETAS), to seek suggestions and understand concerns. We have also been working closely with them since December 2016 to prepare them for the changes."
AVA said that it will continue to work closely with the pet industry to ensure smooth implementation of the revised conditions.
AVA states that safeguarding animal welfare is a shared responsibility and the public can play an important role by being AVA’s eyes and ears, and provide feedback to AVA if they come across any animal welfare issues.
Members of the public can contact AVA via their 24-hour hotline, 1800-476-1600. All information shared with AVA will be held in the strictest confidence.