Feeding certain wildlife on private property must not be stopped

It is good to note that the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) agree it is important to promote greater interest and appreciation for nature and wildlife (Feeding of wildlife causes host of problems; Aug 8).

However, they have ignored my emphasis on not doing so on public property, but only on private property.

As NParks states that it wants to work closely with the community on nature conservation efforts and to foster a love for our environment, it should not support or introduce any legislation to discourage the enhancement of conditions for wildlife on private property. That includes feeding.

NParks and the AVA are correct to say that the population of wildlife is regulated through the resources available. Feeding causes a rise in populations, which is what we want with desirable species.

While NParks' advice is valid in that feeding wildlife can lead to aggressive behaviour, I had again specifically said that interactions with potential pests, such as monkeys and wild boars, should be banned. In any case, however unafraid they might become of people, I can hardly imagine that overly assertive songbirds will pose any danger to anyone.

The feeding must be sustained. Enthusiasts in Europe and America have done so for many years.

Similarly, enthusiasts I know in Singapore are serious about conservation efforts and some are heavily involved in such efforts.

They have done this for decades, thereby ensuring a genetic reservoir that can spread out from their landed properties. Besides the Government, they, too, act as custodians of our natural heritage, and should be encouraged.

I trust NParks understands that we are all working towards the same objectives and will not support those who want exclusivity and a monopoly on this matter by creating legislative obstacles for others.

Lee Chiu San

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2018, with the headline 'Feeding certain wildlife on private property must not be stopped'. Print Edition | Subscribe