AVA working to improve facility

We thank Mr Marc Ha Tzen Wye and Mr Darren Chan Keng Leong for their letters on The Animal Lodge (Work with shelters to get The Animal Lodge fit for purpose and Help animal shelters cope with cost, respectively; both published on July 4).

The Animal Lodge was built to provide an option for those affected by land leases expiring at Loyang, Seletar and Lim Chu Kang.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has been engaging animal welfare groups (AWGs) throughout the design and construction of this animal shelter as well as during this transition process. Where possible, we have taken in the feedback from them.

For instance, we redesigned the space for communal kennels when we were told that the original individual kennel layout was unsuitable. Some units were built differently based on common requests.

We have also assisted AWGs and shelters financially by charging rental rates at cost-recovery, waiving the rental security deposit and providing a rent-free period and a one-off relocation assistance package of $7,500 per unit to help them in their transition to the new premises.

This worked out to between $15,000 and $37,500 for AWGs, which took up between two to five units in general.

We have also been working with stakeholders on solutions to the concerns that have been raised.

For instance, we removed waste found to be causing the blocked pipes, which Mr Ha mentioned in his letter, and took steps to reduce its recurrence.

AVA is investigating the cause.

We would like to assure the writers that AVA will continue to work closely with AWGs and animal shelters on their concerns.

Chang Siow Foong (Dr)

Group Director

Agri Establishment Regulation Group

Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2018, with the headline 'AVA working to improve facility'. Print Edition | Subscribe