Latest cat death in Yishun raises new concerns

A cat was found dead in Yishun Pond yesterday, the latest in a string of feline deaths in the area. It has again raised questions on whether foul play is involved.

According to updates posted by the Yishun 326 Tabby Cat Facebook page, the cat was found floating in the pond near Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is investigating the case. It has received 39 reports of cat deaths in the area since last September.

Two cases have been linked to cruelty, with 13 caused by factors such as road accidents, falls and natural causes. Three, including yesterday's, are still being investigated, while the rest remain open due to insufficient leads, an AVA spokesman told The Straits Times.

Yesterday's incident comes after the authorities arrested two men for their suspected involvement in cat abuse in Yishun.

A 51-year-old man was arrested in January for his suspected involvement in the death of a cat which belonged to his household. It was found dead next to Block 116, Yishun Ring Road on Jan 22.

On Dec 29 last year, Lee Wai Leong, 40, was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly throwing a cat from the 13th floor of a Housing Board block in Yishun.

The AVA said in January that its preliminary investigations showed that some of the cat deaths may not have been due to animal cruelty, but some cats were found with human-inflicted wounds, such as severe trauma to the head and back, injuries to the intestinal organs, gouged eyes and chopped limbs.

There was no visible sign of injury on the carcass of the cat found yesterday.

Yishun residents expressed shock that cats are still turning up dead despite the recent arrests.

Customer care officer Aslinda Abdullah, 31, said: "I am worried because there is more than one culprit out there."

Retired childcare supervisor Clive Teo, 62, who has been living in Yishun for 27 years, said: "After hearing about the deaths, I am more observant and alert now when I walk around Yishun to see if there are any suspicious characters near the cats."

Ms Veron Lau, from animal welfare group Cat Welfare Society, said: "It is important to get to the bottom of this as this kind of suspected human brutality cannot continue. We urge the deployment of more sophisticated forensics and CCTV resources to give everyone a peace of mind."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2016, with the headline 'Latest cat death in Yishun raises new concerns'. Print Edition | Subscribe