AVA responds to stray dog 'poisoning case' in Yishun, says it does not use poisoned baits

AVA said it did not receive any reports on the alleged poisoning of stray dogs in the area, and the carcass has reportedly been disposed of. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LOUIS NG KOK KWANG

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has responded to an alleged case of stray dog poisoning in Yishun, saying it does not allow the use of poisoned baits.

The incident had been flagged by animal activist page Yishun 326 Tabby Cat, which posted photos of a dog carcass. The page claimed that residents at Yishun Riverwalk had noticed on Monday (April 23) that a silver van had been frequenting the area.

Three men are said to have been spotted with a plastic bag at a field where a pack of stray dogs are often seen. A plastic bag containing dog food and a pair of gloves covered with white powder were found later, the Facebook page said.

It alleged that the three men were contractors engaged by AVA.

"When called, AVA refuted the poisoning but admitted they did engage contractors to solve the complaint case whereby stray dogs ran after cyclists," said Yishun 326 Tabby Cat.

The group also claimed that it has filed a police report over the matter.

AVA addressed the claims in a Facebook post on Friday (April 27).

It stressed that all external contractors it engages for stray dog management have to follow a set of guidelines developed by AVA and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Poisoned baits are not allowed to be used," said AVA.

It said it had responded to "recent feedback on stray dogs chasing members of the public in the Yishun Avenue 6 area".

After it conducted surveillance of the area, it "ascertained that there was a public safety risk", and activated contractors to remove the stray dogs.

However, AVA said it did not receive any reports on the alleged poisoning of stray dogs in the area, and the carcass has reportedly been disposed of.

AVA usually requires a carcass to perform autopsy for investigations. Without a carcass, it is difficult to ascertain cause of death.

AVA said its priority in stray dog management "is to ensure that public safety and public health are not compromised".

It added that impounded animals removed by activated contractors are checked when they arrived at AVA.

It works with animal welfare groups to rehome animals that are deemed suitable for rehoming.

"All external contractors have to follow a set of guidelines jointly developed by AVA and SPCA," said AVA. "These guidelines cover how contractors can capture, handle and transport animals, as well as the types of equipment that are allowed to be used in animal management operations."

Yishun MP Louis Ng, who is founder of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, addressed the matter in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"Reading about animals being poisoned is something which makes me angry and many of you have written to me about the suspected stray dog poisoning case at Yishun Avenue 6," he wrote. "I have spoken to AVA about this case and they have assured me that poisoned baits are not allowed to be used."

Those with information on this case can contact AVA at 1800-476-1600.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.