SINGAPORE - Members of the public can now express their views on how to raise standards in the pet sector through a public consultation that was launched on Saturday (Oct 26) by the National Parks Board (NParks).
The consultation will take place over two months, until Dec 26, through an online survey and roving exhibitions.
It comes after Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development, said in August that standards in the pet sector will be reviewed and tightened by NParks to protect animal health and welfare.
In a statement on Saturday, NParks said that since August, it has conducted focus group discussions with various stakeholders in the sector on how to improve pet traceability and raise standards of breeders and boarders to safeguard animal health and welfare.
Participants include representatives from pet businesses such as breeders, boarders and pet shops, animal welfare groups, veterinary professionals and academics.
At these focus group sessions, there was consensus that pet breeding and boarding standards should be raised, the statement said. Other suggestions included enhancing guidelines to ensure animal health and welfare, certification and training for staff and measures to deter errant breeders and boarders, said NParks.
Participants also recommended that measures could be introduced to encourage more pet owners to license their dogs and suggested having a common registry to motivate people to microchip their pet cats and dogs.
Another key area discussed was the gap in public knowledge about pets, including factors to look out for when purchasing a pet and boarding a pet, and how to behave around animals.
More focus group sessions will be conducted from now until next January, NParks said.
"Based on initial input from these stakeholders, NParks is now gathering views from the public through the consultation," it said.
Members of the public can express their views through an online survey at www.go.gov.sg/petreview on the Animal and Veterinary Service's website.
Besides the public consultation, which was launched at the Pets' Day Out at Parks Festival, there will be roving exhibitions where members of the public can also contribute these views.
NParks will be collating the input from the public consultation and focus group sessions, and these will be shared early next year and used to "shape pet-related policies underpinned by science", it said.
Ms Sun said on Saturday: "I encourage the public to actively share their views with us so that with their help, we can strengthen animal health and welfare while safeguarding public health. We hope to share more details on our plans early next year."