Make buying pets impulsively harder instead

A more pragmatic approach to tackling the problem of animal welfare would be to make it harder for people to purchase pets on impulse.
A more pragmatic approach to tackling the problem of animal welfare would be to make it harder for people to purchase pets on impulse.PHOTO: ST FILE

People who are truly concerned for animal welfare should be assisting the Government to improve the welfare standards and conditions that pet stores have to uphold, instead of clamouring for consumer choices to be limited (Singapore should also limit pet sales to rescue animals; Jan 3).

There have been instances overseas where limiting consumers' options has led to errant animal welfare groups purchasing animals from private breeders and supplying them to pet stores for a profit.

Drastic legislation will not stop puppy mills or commercial breeders but, instead, pave the way for illegal supply chains which could be more difficult to monitor.

Animal rescue groups should also be subject to high levels of scrutiny and transparency, on a par with that of any commercial breeder.

No organisation that is involved with animals should be overlooked just because they claim to be rescue centres or shelters.

A more pragmatic approach to tackling the problem would be to make it harder for people to purchase pets on impulse.

It could take the form of the owner possessing a small animal licence before the ownership of an animal can be transferred from the pet store to the owner.

The pet industry is one of the fastest growing market segments globally and, in the commercial interest of Singapore, drastic legislation like making pet stores sell only strays should not be supported as it could effectively shut down the pet industry.

Ong Junkai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2019, with the headline 'Make buying pets impulsively harder instead'. Print Edition | Subscribe