Agencies handling animals must adhere to AVA's guidelines

We thank Mr Ong Junkai for his letter (Are pest control firms' wildlife removal methods regulated?, Oct 16).

Cruelty to animals is an offence under the Animals and Birds Act.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has issued a set of guidelines on the proper handling of snakes to all pest control and wildlife management agencies in Singapore. For example, snakes should not be unduly harmed by the persons handling them and appropriate equipment should be used to catch them.

AVA investigates all feedback relating to animal cruelty and will not hesitate to act against offenders.

We are investigating the incident Mr Ong mentioned, in which hot water was allegedly poured into a pipe to force a python out.

Members of the public who have information on this case - for example, photographic or video evidence, or witnesses - can contact AVA on 1800-476-1600.

All information provided will be kept in strict confidence.

We also advise members of the public not to approach, disturb, feed or try to catch any wildlife, including snakes.

Keep a safe distance from the animals and avoid confronting or cornering them.

Do not interact with the animals, and ensure that young children and pets are kept away from them.

Joshua Teoh

Director, Regulatory Department

Animal Management Group

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2018, with the headline 'Agencies handling animals must adhere to AVA's guidelines'. Print Edition | Subscribe