AVS launches public consultation on proposed framework to improve cat management and welfare
03 Sep 2022
- Public invited to share views through online survey from today
- Proposed framework includes licensing and microchipping of pet cats, and sterilisation and rehoming of community cats
The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board (NParks), launched a public consultation on its proposed framework to improve the management and welfare of cats. Members of public are invited to share their views in an online survey starting today. This public consultation is part of the larger Forward Singapore movement that aims to refresh our social compact and build a more endearing home.
Proposed pet and community cat management framework
AVS is consulting the public on three strategies under the proposed framework – (i) expanding the existing pet dog licensing and microchipping scheme to include pet cats, (ii) extending the Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage (TNRM) programme for free-roaming dogs to community cats, and (iii) new engagement and outreach programmes to promote responsible cat ownership, the adoption of cats, and responsible community cat caregiving.
The proposed framework aims to safeguard public health, and better protect the health and welfare of Singapore’s pet and community cats. The survey seeks the public’s views on each of the proposed strategies.
(1) Improving traceability through licensing and microchipping of pet cats
A robust traceability system is critical in protecting public and animal health. To support this, AVS is considering expanding the pet dog licensing and microchipping scheme to include pet cats. This would improve their traceability and allow AVS to hold cat owners to greater account for keeping their cats responsibly.
With the proposed licensing scheme, the public will be consulted on whether cats are suitable to be kept as pets in HDB homes. AVS and HDB will also explore the possibility of allowing pet cats in HDB flats.
(2) TNRM for community cats
The TNRM programme has been effective in managing the free-roaming dog population in Singapore. Hence, AVS is considering expanding it to include community cats. Under this programme, community cats will be sterilised after capture. They will then be rehomed where possible, or released back into the community.
The TNRM programme is a holistic, humane, and science-based approach to community animal population management. It is recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). The proposed TNRM for cats would build on the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (SCSP), launched in 2011. Under the SCSP, AVS works with animal welfare groups to manage the community cat population by subsidising the costs of sterilisation and microchipping. Over the last five years, an average of around 4,200 community cats have been sterilised and microchipped annually under the SCSP.
AVS is currently conducting research to better understand the population size and ecology of community cats, as well as the social aspects of cat management. The findings will be used to refine the proposed cat management framework, including the proposal to extend the TNRM programme to community cats.
(3) New community engagement and outreach programmes
To improve standards of pet care, AVS will, in continued partnership with the community and animal welfare groups, explore ways to further promote responsible cat ownership, the adoption of cats, and responsible community cat caregiving.
AVS will use the findings gathered during the public consultation to refine its proposed cat management framework. The public consultation will run for six months, from September 2022 to March 2023. It consists of a two-month online survey for the public, as well as community dialogue sessions and focus group discussions with key stakeholders.
The public are invited to share their views through the online survey on AVS’ webpage at http://go.gov.sg/catsg. The survey will be open from today, 3 September 2022, until 2 November 2022. AVS aims to share the findings of the public consultation exercise and its revised recommendations in 2023.
Raising awareness of responsible pet ownership through community engagement
Engaging the community has been a key focus for AVS since its formation in 2019. Now in its 15th edition, Pets’ Day Out is AVS’ main platform through which it engages with the pet community including pet owners, animal welfare groups, veterinarians, and representatives of pet businesses. The 15th Pets’ Day Out is held at East Coast Park, with free pet health checks, an adoption drive in partnership with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), PDO’s signature programme Petzmania, workshops, and a marketplace.
AVS will continue to forge relationships with the community, to promote responsible pet ownership and raise awareness on best practices for animal welfares. This is in line with the vision to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, for which community stewardship is a key thrust.
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