New code of animal welfare for pet industry to take effect on Oct 1

Pet businesses will be expected to comply with a new code that spells out standards and best practices for the industry, which will take effect on Oct 1.
Pet businesses will be expected to comply with a new code that spells out standards and best practices for the industry, which will take effect on Oct 1. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Pet businesses will be expected to comply with a new code that spells out standards and best practices for the industry, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday (Aug 11).

The Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Industry), issued on Thursday, will take effect on Oct 1.

It is not an offence to violate the code, but failure to meet its standards can be used to support prosecution or enforcement actions for animal welfare cases, said AVA.

The code comprises minimum standards on animal housing, management and care, which pet businesses are expected to comply with, and best practices, which they are encouraged to adopt.

The Code can be viewed on AVA's website.

Pet businesses will be given a grace period of six months,that is until Mar 31, 2017 to comply.

AVA will continue to take enforcement action when there is "direct evidence" of animal welfare and cruelty contraventions, it added.

"The Code is a reflection of what the society at large desires and expects on the standard of animal welfare among pet businesses in Singapore," said Ms Tan Poh Hong, AVA CEO.

It was adapted from a draft formulated by the Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration Committee for Animal Welfare (MSCC).

The MSCC, chaired by MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Alex Yam, has also submitted a recommended training curriculum for the pet industry.

AVA said it will review the curriculum for implementation.

The committee has recommended that operators and staff of pet-related businesses undergo mandatory training on animal care and handling.

"We are confident that the training curriculum, together with the Code issued by AVA, will be instrumental in helping pet businesses fulfil their duty of care to animals under their charge, and enhance overall animal welfare standards," said Mr Yam.