Give and take needed over animals: Minister

A female hybrid (left) and a male red junglefowl seen in Pasir Ris yesterday. AVA killed 24 free-roaming chickens in Sin Ming after residents complained about noise.
A female hybrid (left) and a male red junglefowl seen in Pasir Ris yesterday. AVA killed 24 free-roaming chickens in Sin Ming after residents complained about noise.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The recent culling of chickens by the authorities here highlights the constant tension between animal lovers and those who are less enamoured by them, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said yesterday.

"It is a very real issue. It is not just about chickens. It is about dogs, cats and pets in general," said Mr Tan. "We live in close proximity... Many people are pet lovers, but there are people who also don't like pets. We need to exercise mutual understanding and give and take."

He added that some people could be uncomfortable with certain animals due to a lack of information, and that more awareness is needed. He was speaking to reporters at an Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) event to rehome an endangered turtle.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore(AVA) killed 24 free-roaming chickens in Sin Ming after residents complained 20 times about noise last year, Today reported.

While some people viewed the birds as a nuisance, others were upset to see them go.

AVA said that Pasir Ris and Thomson residents had complained last year about noise from free-ranging chickens, and that it would take action whenever it receives complaints from the public about noise.

Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC and Acres founder and chief executive officer Louis Ng said yesterday that instead of culling chickens, the authorities should look into other solutions, such as relocating the animals or putting them up for adoption.

"Ultimately, euthanasia is still the worst option," he said. "Let's get an accurate sense of what is happening on the ground, what the exact ground sentiments are," he added, pointing out that 20 complaints could have come from one or two people calling repeatedly.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2017, with the headline 'Give and take needed over animals: Minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe