Deploy CCTVs to safeguard animal welfare

THE poisoning and deaths of seven community cats in Pasir Ris Park has caused much grief to the cats' caregivers and the cat welfare community ("Dead felines in Pasir Ris Park raise fears of serial cat killer"; yesterday).

The cause of death is currently unknown, pending a post-mortem.

We do not know whether this was the work of a serial cat killer or the tragic result of a pest control exercise.

The National Parks Board (NParks) has pledged to step up patrols, but they lack the manpower and resources to do so round the clock.

In view of today's manpower constraints, the authorities should consider applying the Internet of Things to animal welfare as part of Singapore's Smart Nation thrust.

The Internet of Things  is a popular catchphrase which refers to the application of smart technology to everyday life.

NParks should consider investing in smart, efficient, hidden closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at various spots in parks to monitor and deter animal abandonment and abuse.

Its efforts to deter monkey feeding by installing CCTV cameras in Upper Thomson is an example of what can be done to protect humans from animals.

It is now time to protect animals from humans.

Leona Lo (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'Deploy CCTVs to safeguard animal welfare'. Print Edition | Subscribe