Efforts to manage stray animals paying off

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) agrees with Mr Darren Chan Keng Leong that more can be done to help the dedicated people who feed strays ("Do more to support those who feed strays"; Forum Online, Dec 23, 2016).

The food drive suggested is a great way to provide support and alleviate the financial pressure of regularly feeding street animals.

Stray animals have been part of the Singapore environment for decades. The SPCA, other animal welfare groups and independent rescuers have been sterilising them to help control their population, as part of SPCA's larger strategy of "trap-neuter-release-manage" (TNRM).

In addition, numerous individual caregivers often make significant personal sacrifices to look after these animals.

It is heartening to see support from the public for a larger strategy of TNRM, which SPCA strongly advocates.

The SPCA began its voucher programme in 1991, enabling volunteers to arrange for free sterilisation of a street animal at a private veterinary clinic.

It has also been carrying out sterilisation at its clinic. Besides helping community animal caregivers in this way, the SPCA also offers them complimentary basic veterinary consultation and treatment.

In recent years, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Cat Welfare Society and the SPCA have jointly run another sterilisation programme, where the AVA funds 50 per cent of the cost of sterilising street cats.

These programmes, as well as the efforts by countless others, have paid off.

Just over 10 years ago, the SPCA was taking in more than 500 cats every month. Today, the number is about 100.

Jaipal Singh Gill (Dr)

Executive Director

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals