AVA to probe alleged cat abuse in Tampines

A cat was allegedly strangled in Tampines in an act of apparent animal abuse.

The Straits Times understands that a teenage boy was seen strangling it amid a spate of cat abuse cases in the area.

A police report was made last month by a resident who witnessed the incident at Block 851, Tampines Street 83.

When contacted yesterday, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said it will be probing the case.

The police confirmed that a report was lodged. An Internet user posted information on an online forum to alert people to the incidents.

Ms Corinne Fong, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said that while she has heard of the cases, they have not been verified. She said one way of verifying them is photographic or video evidence.

Animal abuse cases have been on the rise. There were 1,426 reported cases of animal abuse in 2011, up from 1,162 in 2007.

Under the current Animals and Birds Act, offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed up to one year.

The Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee has also submitted recommendations to improve animal welfare. These proposals were accepted by the National Development Ministry in April this year.

Among its proposals were heftier fines and longer jail terms for animal abusers and mandatory pre-sale screening of pet buyers, who must be aged 16 and above.