AVS’ public survey findings show strong support for proposed approach to cat management
06 May 2023
- AVS will continue to engage stakeholders and the public on the proposed approach, which covers three key areas including the licensing and microchipping of pet cats, and the sterilisation and rehoming of community cats
The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board (NParks), launched a public survey in September 2022 to seek feedback on the proposed approach to improve the management and welfare of pet and community cats in Singapore. The public survey was part of the larger Forward Singapore movement that aims to refresh our social compact and build a more endearing home. The survey garnered more than 30,000 responses from a diverse range of stakeholders, especially those with a keen interest in pet issues. It showed that overall, the respondents were strongly supportive of the proposed approach to cat management.
The survey sought the public’s views and feedback on the proposed approach to cat management, which covers three key areas – (i) expanding the 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.
Overview of public survey findings
· On pet cats, over 80% of survey respondents agreed that pet cats should be microchipped and licensed, and that licensing could help to improve the health, welfare, and traceability of cats.
· Close to 90% of respondents thought that cats are suitable to be kept as pets, and most also supported allowing cats to be kept as pets in HDB flats.
· On community cats, around 80% of respondents felt that the proposed Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage programme for cats would be effective in managing the community cat population.
· On pet and community cat-related issues, respondents felt that cat owners and caregivers, animal welfare groups, and community representatives, can play a leading role in mediation efforts.
Upcoming focus group discussions with the public and key stakeholders
AVS will continue to engage stakeholders and members of the public who expressed their interest to be engaged further during the public survey, through focus group discussions (FGDs). These FGDs will discuss the proposed approach to cat management and its potential impact on pet cats and their owners, as well as community cats and their caregivers. Participants will also be able to share their feedback on areas such as the roles and responsibilities of pet owners, towards both their pets and the community (such as their neighbours). Through these sustained engagement efforts, we hope to generate constructive dialogue that will foster greater empathy and understanding between neighbours on pet-related matters, and ultimately strengthen our social compact.
AVS will review the feedback received from these FGDs, which will engage a diverse range of stakeholders including cat owners, non-cat owners, community cat caregivers, HDB and private estate residents, representatives of animal welfare groups, and selected respondents from the public survey, holistically, before refining the proposed approach to cat management for another round of consultation. During the FGDs, AVS will seek feedback on measures that we are looking into, to give households and stakeholders sufficient time and support to adapt to any changes that may be introduced. Members of the public can share their feedback on the public survey findings or the proposed approach to managing pet and community cats with AVS at https://go.gov.sg/avs-cat-management.
Pet community outreach at Pets’ Day Out
The key findings of the public survey were shared at the 19th edition of Pets’ Day Out at East Coast Park. A signature event of AVS, Pets’ Day Out serves as a regular platform for animal welfare groups, pet businesses, veterinarians, and pet lovers to come together. Visitors can look forward to free pet health checks, an adoption drive, Pets’ Day Out’s signature programme Petzmania, and a marketplace for pet-related retail products. At the event, the public can also learn about pet care and animal health through informative exhibitions, talks, and workshops.
AVS will continue to strengthen its relationships with the community, to promote responsible pet ownership and raise awareness on best practices for animal welfare. This is in line with the vision to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, for which community stewardship is a key thrust.
The community, including pet owners, has a shared responsibility to safeguard animal health and welfare while ensuring a conducive living environment for all Singaporeans. Pet owners can refer to the Code of Animal Welfare for Pet Owners at www.go.gov.sg/animal-welfare-code-petowners to learn about the minimum standards expected for animal housing, management, and care.
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