AVA probes dead cat in Yishun, caged cats in Queenstown

This dead cat was found sprawled at odd angles in a stairwell at Block 147, Yishun Street 11. The case was highlighted by cat group Yishun 326 Tabby cat in a Facebook post yesterday.
This dead cat was found sprawled at odd angles in a stairwell at Block 147, Yishun Street 11. The case was highlighted by cat group Yishun 326 Tabby cat in a Facebook post yesterday.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is investigating a case of cat death in Yishun that occurred this week.

It is also looking into a case where cats were kept in cages in a makeshift outdoor shelter at Mei Ling Street in Queenstown.

The Yishun case was highlighted by cat group Yishun 326 Tabby cat in a Facebook post yesterday.

The dead cat was found sprawled at odd angles in a stairwell at Block 147, Yishun Street 11.

This incident is being investigated as a possible abuse case, Cat Welfare Society (CWS) executive director Laura Ann Meranda told The Straits Times yesterday.

AVA told ST that it is investigating the case at Block 147.

There was another cat death in Yishun. The case was flagged by Facebook user Catherine Tan, who uploaded a photo of a dead cat in a carpark at Block 367, Yishun Ring Road, on Tuesday.

Ms Meranda said it was highly likely to be roadkill rather than abuse. The two cases are most likely unrelated, she added.

Of the cat death at Block 367, AVA said it was in touch with community cat feeders in Yishun. It was informed that the carcass was cremated by a cat feeder, but there were no other leads in the case.

It called for those with information on the case, such as photographic or video evidence, or for eyewitnesses, to contact AVA on 1800-476-1600.

AVA said stray cats "are constantly exposed to the elements and face various risks such as starvation, disease and parasitic infestations, animal cruelty and the risk of getting knocked down by vehicles".

"Stray cats may not be able to fend for themselves in the environment and the risks they face could be fatal. Therefore, stray cats should be rehomed and properly cared for by responsible owners."

AVA added that it would "appreciate if the public refrain from speculation as not all animal deaths are due to animal cruelty".

It is also investigating the case at Block 151, Mei Ling Street.

A passer-by told citizen journalism site Stomp that she saw several cats in small cages at an outdoor shelter. "They are locked up for 24 hours, it is very pitiful," she said. "They are cats, not chickens."

The media has previously reported about cats in cages in Mei Ling Street. AVA had told Channel NewsAsia in a report in 2016 that the cats were found to be in "satisfactory condition" then.

The authority is investigating the case again.

Ms Meranda said CWS hopes the authorities will thoroughly investigate the allegations of animal welfare breaches in Mei Ling Street.

"It is unclear why caging is necessary for these cats and whether the cats are caged for a short period of time or many hours in a day or throughout the day. The owner should be educated on how the cats can be cared for without the need for caging," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2018, with the headline 'AVA probes dead cat in Yishun, caged cats in Queenstown'. Print Edition | Subscribe