Second man arrested for suspected cat abuse in Yishun

The suspect was arrested on Saturday at about 2am along Yishun Ring Road.
The suspect was arrested on Saturday at about 2am along Yishun Ring Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 51-year-old man was arrested on Saturday (Jan 23) for his suspected involvement in a case of cat abuse in Yishun.

He is the second man to be arrested following a spate of some 20 cat deaths that took place in the neighbourhood since September 2015.

In a joint statement on Saturday, the police and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said that the police were alerted to a cat carcass found on the grass verge next to Block 116 Yishun Ring Road at about 5.55pm on Jan 22. The suspect was arrested on Saturday at about 2am along Yishun Ring Road.

In the statement, the police and AVA said that the man is from the household which owned the dead cat. He is assisting the authorities with their investigations, the statement added. " Investigations are also ongoing to establish if the man is involved in other Yishun cat death cases."

Ms Veron Lau, a committee member of the Cat Welfare Society, told The Sunday Times that the animal welfare group hopes that justice will be served.

She added: " After the entire investigation process, it is important to work with the police, the AVA, community leaders and volunteers to document all the hits and misses, so the incident can serve as a case study to make significant and permanent changes to the way animal cruelty cases are handled in future."

The other alleged cat abuser, Lee Wai Leong, 40, was on Dec 29 charged with animal cruelty for allegedly throwing a cat from the 13th floor of an HDB block in Yishun.

Since then, at least three cats have been found dead.

In Saturday's statement, the police and AVA said that investigations into all reported cases are ongoing.

But they noted that in some cases, preliminary investigations have shown that the cause of death may not be due to animal cruelty.

The latest cat death reported last Thursday night (21), for instance, could be caused by a possible road accident, the statement said.

"AVA, with the assistance of the police, will investigate all reported cases of cat deaths to establish if animal cruelty is involved, and if so, to apprehend the culprits," it said.

Those who have information on animal cruelty cases, such as photographs, video evidence or witnesses, should contact AVA at 1800-4761-600.

Under the Animals and Birds Act, anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be fined up to $15,000 and/or jailed up to 18 months, or both for the first offence. For second and subsequent offences, the maximum penalty is $30,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both.