Animals at Pasir Ris shelters won't be left stranded: MP

Voices For Animals president Derrick Tan (above) said volunteers will be assured that their animals "will not be left stranded" only when they are shown concrete plans. Tenants of Pasir Ris Farmway were told by the SLA in a letter on Oct 4 that the land m
Voices For Animals president Derrick Tan (above) said volunteers will be assured that their animals "will not be left stranded" only when they are shown concrete plans. Tenants of Pasir Ris Farmway were told by the SLA in a letter on Oct 4 that the land must be returned to it by Dec 31 next year. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
DR SIEW TUCK WAH, president of SOSD
DR SIEW TUCK WAH, president of SOSDST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Ministry will announce plans later for seven welfare groups that have to move out, he says

Rescued animals housed in Pasir Ris Farmway will not be left stranded when their shelters are moved at the end of next year, according to Mr Louis Ng, an MP for Nee Soon GRC.

He gave this assurance to volunteers last Saturday during a dialogue on animal welfare held at Nee Soon East Community Club.

Participants raised concerns following a Straits Times report that some 1,000 stray and abandoned dogs and 800 cats will have to leave the area as the authorities want the land for industrial development.

But Mr Ng, who founded wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, stopped short of giving details on a solution for the seven animal welfare groups in the area.

When contacted, Mr Ng would say only that the Ministry of National Development will announce plans at a later date.

Tenants of Pasir Ris Farmway were told by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in a letter on Oct 4 that the land must be returned to SLA by Dec 31 next year.

WHAT'S THE COST?

The animals will not be left stranded, but the question is how much we have to pay for them to have a place in Singapore.

DR SIEW TUCK WAH, president of SOSD, noting that there are no rental guidelines for the animal welfare groups if they have to lease space from commercial farms.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the SLA later told The Straits Times in a joint reply that alternative sites in Sungei Tengah will be made available for interested parties to tender.

But the authorities did not provide details on when the Sungei Tengah sites will be available for tender or how big the plots are, causing uncertainty for the animal welfare groups, which worry that new shelters will not be able to be built by the deadline.

Mr Derrick Tan, president of Voices For Animals, one of the affected animal welfare groups, said volunteers will be assured that their animals "will not be left stranded" only when they are presented with concrete plans.

Dr Siew Tuck Wah, president of SOSD, another animal welfare group, said: "The animals will not be left stranded, but the question is how much we have to pay for them to have a place in Singapore.

"If the animal welfare groups are made to rent from commercial farms, there will be no guidelines on the rental price.

"And if shelters are expected to be at least two storeys, it is natural that the rental will increase. By how much, we do not know."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2016, with the headline 'Animals at Pasir Ris shelters won't be left stranded: MP'. Print Edition | Subscribe