SINGAPORE - A 40-year-old man was charged with animal cruelty on Tuesday morning (Dec29) for allegedly throwing a cat from the 13th floor of an HDB block in Yishun.
Lee Wai Leong, who did not enter a plea to his single charge, is the first person to be hauled to court under the new Animals and Birds Act, which was amended last year to toughen penalties against those convicted of animal cruelty.
He allegedly threw an adult Mackerel Tabby domestic shorthair cat over the parapet of the 13th floor of Block 115B Yishun Ring Road at about 10.30am on Oct 30. The cat died.
District Judge Janet Wang granted the prosecution's request to remand Lee for two weeks for psychiatric assessment at the Institute of Mental Health.
His case will be mentioned in court again on Jan 12.
Over the last three months, 19 cats - mostly strays - have been found dead or seriously injured in Yishun. Only two survived.
In the latest incident, the carcass of a grey-white cat was found floating in a Yishun pond next to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last Saturday.
Other cats had been found with severe trauma to the head and back, injuries to the intestinal organs, gouged eyes and chopped-off limbs. One was strangled.
Two weeks ago, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng announced that a grassroots fast response team had been set up to gather evidence and conduct patrols. Additional high-resolution cameras have also been installed in the area.
In a joint statement on Monday (Dec 28), the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and police said that following reports on the cases, policemen conducted extensive ground inquiries and investigations before establishing the identity of a suspect.
He was subsequently arrested on Sunday (Dec 27) in Yishun Ring Road.
The AVA said it will investigate all public feedback on animal cruelty and take enforcement actions against those who commit such acts.
Members of the public with any information on animal cruelty cases can contact the AVA on 1800-476-1600.
The maximum penalty for doing an act which causes unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal is 18 months' jail and a $15,000 fine for a first conviction.
The maximum punishment for the offence for subsequent convictions is three years' jail and a $30,000 fine.