Govt must step up in animal rescue cases

A girl playing with rabbits put up for adoption. Animal welfare groups are often called in by the authorities to rescue animals and then left to their own devices, even though they may lack the resources to manage such cases.
A girl playing with rabbits put up for adoption. Animal welfare groups are often called in by the authorities to rescue animals and then left to their own devices, even though they may lack the resources to manage such cases.ST FILE PHOTO

Cases of severe animal overbreeding are extremely worrying, to say the least ('Hundreds' of mice found in flat rescued and up for adoption; ST Online, April 23).

Owners are typically unable to care for the overwhelming number of animals and will often abandon them, if unassisted.

This will harm the animals and give rise to the risk of people contracting diseases from the animals.

In such instances, town councils' first response seems to be to contact animal welfare groups like Voices For Animals.

But subsequently, there is neither proper follow-up with the animal welfare groups nor government assistance in caring for the rescued animals.

Bunny Wonderland has also had such encounters, where we were left to our own devices after rescuing animals.

In 2014, the Ang Mo Kio Town Council contacted us to remove 12 rabbits from a Hougang estate; and last year, the HDB Branch Office requested that we and the House Rabbit Society Singapore rescue over 50 rabbits from a Commonwealth estate.

While animal welfare groups are formed with the intention of helping animals in need, we operate on a voluntary basis and are not funded by the Government.

This means that we lack the manpower and financial means to respond quickly, and should not be the primary responder in these cases of animal overbreeding.

Not only does the Government have more resources to manage such crises, but it can also punish those who fail to provide sufficient care for their animals and/or abandon them.

Lynne Tan Xin Lin (Ms)
Representative of Bunny Wonderland

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'Govt must step up in animal rescue cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe