Curb pet sale, make selling of rescued animals mandatory

Stallone (right) and Pee Wee (far right), with their son Soon Hock, at the Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter.
Stallone (right) and Pee Wee (far right), with their son Soon Hock, at the Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter.PHOTO: ST FILE

That the impulsive buying of pets should be made harder and measures be put in place to effect this are views we at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) agree with.

The point was raised by Mr Ong Junkai in his Forum letter (Make buying pets impulsively harder instead; Jan 8).

Over the years, the authorities have tightened up pet shop regulations to do just that, although, for now, some of the rules apply only to selected species and it still remains fairly easy to buy an animal from a pet shop.

However, seeing how we are still facing a significant pet overpopulation, we need to look beyond traditional ways of thinking.

In an increasing number of countries, laws are being introduced to restrict the sale of pets and mandate the sale of rescued animals.

SPCA supports such a system.

One of the arguments against this idea is that restricting the sale of live animals in shops will create an "illegal supply chain".

We cannot let this deter us from doing what is best for animal welfare in Singapore.

If such a trade should emerge, swift and decisive action must be taken against it.

Numerous shelters and foster homes across Singapore are filled with unwanted pets and street animals waiting for good homes.

If even just a portion of the animals sold or adopted from pet shops are rescued animals, many more lives can be saved.

Jaipal Singh Gill (Dr)

Executive Director

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2019, with the headline 'Curb pet sale, make selling of rescued animals mandatory'. Print Edition | Subscribe