SINGAPORE – Higher standards for service providers in the pet sector can be expected in the first half of next year, and dog placement and adoption processes will also be improved, said the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) on Friday, December 18.
In addition, AVS has stepped up its efforts to educate the public on how to care for pets, State Minister of National Development Tan Kiat How said when launching new animal education activities and resources. .
Mr Tan said AVS is reviewing the licensing requirements for boarders and pet breeders, as well as to improve the professionalism of veterinarians, among others.
He has consulted closely with key stakeholders, such as animal welfare groups, pet companies and veterinarians, and will announce more details when ready.
In October, a multi-stakeholder Placement and Adoption Working Group (RAWG) was formed to improve dog placement and adoption processes, Tan said.
The working group worked on guiding principles for the rehabilitation and training of dogs, as well as measures to improve the skills and standards of dog trainers.
The public can comment on new community standards and guidelines on relocation and adoption next year.
The announcements follow a holistic review of the pet industry, which led to the implementation of a single license for spayed companion dogs in September to make it easier for owners to find them.
This review began in August 2019, after two notable pet deaths.
In January 2019, a Shetland sheepdog reportedly died while staying at the Platinium Dogs Club animal hotel.
Three months later, a Maltese, who had been entrusted to the board n ‘play pet boarding and childcare service, died as a result of a swimming incident in Sentosa.
In terms of public awareness, AVS – a cluster under the National Parks Board (NParks) – has deployed a range of educational programs and resources.
Starting in January, preschoolers can interact with and learn more about small mammals like rabbits and hamsters for free in the new animal classroom at Jacob Ballas Kindergarten.
Under adult supervision, children will be allowed to touch these animals, depending on their temperament, said Dr Chang Siow Foong, group director of professional and scientific services at AVS.
Kindergartens can book this activity by sending an email to AVS at least one month in advance.
It is part of new initiatives to encourage responsible pet ownership from an early age.
Other activities include learning trips for high school and college students to AVS animal centers like the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station.
AVS has also worked with the Department of Education and the Early Childhood Development Agency to incorporate lessons about animals into school curricula and curricula. For example, animal care books will be distributed to 1,700 preschools by March.
Other members of the public can access free online animal resources.
AVS is increasing the frequency of pet health, welfare and behavior webinars, starting with a Saturday on the factors to consider before buying a pet.
The webinars, featuring AVS vets as well as professionals from the companion animal industry, will be held every fourth Saturday of the month.
Popular basic pet care videos will also be released next year.
The AVS also multiplies the volunteering opportunities for individuals and companies.
An animal-assisted intervention pilot project involves pairing animals with individuals to improve their psychological and physiological well-being. Pilot sessions were held in November between cats and youngsters of an awareness program by Fei Yue Community Services.
Individuals and businesses wishing to contribute to these programs and resources can contact NParks’ registered charity, Garden City Fund, or through the online platform Giving.sg.
Welcoming the initiatives, Mr Tan said, “Owning a pet comes with a lot of responsibilities, not only to our pets, but also to our neighbors and the community at large. Therefore, it is important. that we equip ourselves with the knowledge to take care of our pets, in order to create a positive environment for everyone. “