SINGAPORE - The transfer of animal-related functions from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to the National Parks Board (NParks) aims to create a more holistic understanding of flora and fauna and better manage human-animal interactions.
The move will combine NParks' expertise in wildlife conservation and horticultural science, and AVA's in animal and plant health, said a joint statement by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and the Ministry of National Development.
Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said: "While we have done well to balance urban development and conservation of our natural heritage, there are opportunities to achieve greater synergy by bringing together the plant and animal roles."
This comes as the Government announced that a new government agency, the Singapore Food Agency, will be formed on April 1, 2019, and take over the work of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
Having a single lead agency in wildlife management will also help reduce the time needed to coordinate different agencies in certain cases.
For example, under the old structure, if there is public feedback about wild boars roaming in a public place, NParks will handle the case if the animals are spotted in a park or nature reserve. If the boars appear in urban areas, the case will be referred to the AVA.
Under the new structure, the case will be handled by just NParks.
However, vector control, which is the management of disease-carrying pests such as rodents, cockroaches and mosquitoes, will still be carried out by the National Environment Agency.