SINGAPORE – Public consultations are underway to improve the welfare and management of the cat population, which, if implemented, will pave the way for animals to be kept as pets in HDB flats.
The consultation will revolve around a framework proposed by the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS). This framework includes measures aimed at improving cat rehoming and pet cat traceability.
Dr. Chang Siow Foong, group director of AVS, said building traceability elements is important not only for animal health but also for protecting public welfare.
He added: “You can’t just put a cat in the house and expect everything to be fine.
“Once both animal welfare and public welfare are balanced, we can begin to consider whether we can have cats in our HDB flats.”
He was speaking at the public consultation launch at the Pet Day Out event at East Coast Park on Saturday.
Community outreach programs were also proposed to raise awareness of issues such as responsible cat ownership and proper care of community cats.
In response to a question from The Straits Times, an HDB spokesperson said it is working with AVS to explore the possibility of allowing cats to be kept as pets in apartments, taking into account feedback received during the consultation phase. I said I would put it in.
“We strive to balance the interests of our pet-loving residents with those who may be impacted by inconvenience as a result of irresponsible pet ownership,” a spokesperson said. added.
Actions under the framework proposed by AVS include, where possible, with the assistance of animal welfare organizations, community cats to be captured, sterilized and re-homed; Includes Fertility-Rehomed or Release-Managed (TNRM) programs. Cats determined to be unsuitable for rehoming are returned to the community and cared for by community carers.
The TNRM program builds on the current feral cat sterilization program, with AVS subsidizing cat sterilization and microchipping costs under the scheme, but does not include the repatriation process.
Launched in 2018, the TNRM program now targets free-roaming dogs. Since then, more than 3,400 dogs have undergone this process, of which about 60% have since been put back into foster care.