The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board (NParks), is launching a second public consultation before finalising the revised licensing conditions for the dog breeders and pet boarders. These revised conditions follow months of engagement and finetuning with the industry stakeholders, to ensure that these conditions can be implemented effectively. The public consultation will be conducted online through a survey on AVS’ webpage at https://go.gov.sg/bnb and will be held for a month, starting today, 1 July 2021 and ending on 31 July 2021.
AVS had embarked on the pet sector review in August 2019, where the pet breeding and boarding sectors were identified for the first phase of the review, based on preliminary engagement with key stakeholders in the pet sector when concerns about the varying standards of pet breeders and boarders were raised. Following a four-month consultation exercise, more than 5200 responses were received via an online survey and five focus group discussions were conducted with a broad range of stakeholders including veterinarians, Animal Welfare Groups, dog trainers, breeders and boarders. Subsequently, AVS further engaged industry stakeholders in nine group sessions to finetune the licensing conditions.
For the breeding sector, AVS and industry stakeholders identified several areas that would be key to raising the standards of commercial dog breeders – namely improving veterinary healthcare; ensuring priority for the well-being and welfare of breeding dogs and their litters; and raising accountability of breeders. These revisions are critical to the health and welfare of the animals and take reference from standards from other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
For the boarding sector, AVS consulted the industry to draft new boarder-specific regulations. These regulations, which currently apply to boarders operating on farmland, will also apply to those operating in approved commercial premises. The revised regulations have also taken into account the needs of other pets such as cats and small mammals, to ensure higher standards of care for all boarding animals and greater accountability by boarders. These revisions span from housing and environment to diet and healthcare and reference overseas standards, such as those from the United Kingdom and Australia.
AVS is now gathering views from the public through the month-long public consultation, before finalising the licensing conditions in Q4 2021. The breeding and boarding businesses will then be given a period of six months to make the necessary adjustments before the full conditions are implemented in Q2 2022. AVS will continue to work closely with them to facilitate the smooth implementation of the conditions. To raise awareness on the science behind animal behaviour, AVS has also been organising webinars that feature international experts in the fields of ethology, animal behaviour and welfare. These are part of AVS’ efforts to develop the competencies of the industry and the public, in the areas of animal interaction and behaviour modification through a science-based approach.
Pet Sector Review
The work on the review of the pet sector is expansive and important, with the aim to raise the standards of animal health and welfare in Singapore. AVS will continue to work with stakeholders and partners to improve other identified areas such as the veterinary industry, and animal rehoming and rehabilitation. AVS will also engage the public so that they can play a more active role in creating a highly liveable environment with harmonious human-animal interactions. This is in line with the vision to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, for which community stewardship is a key thrust.