Stop bird-singing competitions

Mr Donny Ho Boon Tiong is right - keeping pet birds should be made illegal (Have animal activists forgotten about birds?; Jan 17).

Although Singapore is a small island, bird lovers should have no difficulty finding places to admire the animals in their natural habitats.

The keeping of birds in small cages is very cruel. I often wonder whether they are singing or crying for help when they call out.

I also wonder if there have been any studies carried out on the welfare of caged birds.

The keeping of songbirds has been a practice in Asian societies for many years.

Hence, the banning of the practice will certainly face objections, initially at least.

In Singapore, bird-singing competitions are regularly held by some grassroots organisations.

This practice indirectly promotes the keeping of birds in cages.

As a first step, the People's Association should perhaps discourage such competitions.

Tan Kim Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline 'Stop bird-singing competitions'. Print Edition | Subscribe