40-year-old man arrested over Yishun cat abuse cases

This cat was found with two badly fractured legs at the void deck of Block 170, Yishun Avenue 7.
This cat was found with two badly fractured legs at the void deck of Block 170, Yishun Avenue 7.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

A suspect has been arrested by the police for a series of cat abuse cases in Yishun since September.

The 40-year-old man will be charged in court with animal cruelty today, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and police in a joint statement yesterday.

Over the last three months, 19 cats - mostly strays - have been found dead or seriously injured in the neighbourhood. Only two survived.

 
 
 

Following reports on the cases, the AVA and police officers from Ang Mo Kio Division conducted extensive ground inquiries and investigations, before establishing the suspect's identity.

He was subsequently arrested on Sunday in Yishun Ring Road.

Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng said he was delighted with the progress.

He said: "The best part is that this will act as a deterrent and show that we will put our resources to ensure that those who commit animal cruelty will be punished."

Mr Ng noted that the suspect will be the first to be charged under the new Animals and Birds Act, which was amended last year to toughen penalties against those convicted of animal cruelty.

He also stressed that the work continues: "The case is not closed. We must keep an eye out because the crimes may have been done by more than one person."

In the latest incident, the carcass of a grey-white cat was found floating in a Yishun pond next to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last Saturday.

Other cats were found with severe trauma to the head and back, injuries to the intestinal organs, gouged eyes and chopped-off limbs. One was strangled.

On Dec 15, Mr Ng announced that a grassroots fast response team had been set up to gather evidence and conduct patrols. Additional high- resolution cameras have also been installed in the area.

Cat Welfare Society president Thenuga Vijakumar said the public cannot be complacent. "We must remain vigilant because there's no assurance that this will not happen elsewhere in Singapore, " she said.

The AVA said it will investigate all public feedback on animal cruelty and take enforcement actions against those who have committed such acts.

Members of the public with any information on animal cruelty cases can contact the AVA.

Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be jailed for up to 18 months and/or fined up to $15,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2015, with the headline '40-year-old man arrested over Yishun cat abuse cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe