23 June 2011
Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of National Development
Dear Minister Khaw
Re: AVA Governance and Licensing of Pet Owners
In recent times, there have been some disturbing reports about cruelty to animals in Singapore such as a Pomeranian being slammed repeatedly against a wall to its death and cats being tortured to their death.
It also concerns me that the AVA stray-catchers have been catching strays in inhumane ways, often subjecting these strays to unnecessary trauma and stress just before their deaths.
It is distressing that these innocent, lovely creatures have to endure the most unpleasant and painful experience living here on earth – with us! It is not their fault that they happen to be here on earth, yet some treat them as if they are guilty of some heinous crime.
While they cannot speak in ways that humans can understand, animals definitely possess human attributes – the ability to love and the capacity to feel pain. Animals love and hurt, just like us. Therefore they cannot be treated as mere things that can be tossed around, or hunted down.
Animals’ inability to communicate their suffering in words therefore imposes on us humans a stronger moral obligation to discern their cries of pain, and seek redress on their behalf. In other words, we need to be their voice! It is therefore imperative that I raise these issues and possible solutions/suggestions with you.
In view of the complaints against the AVA’s treatment of strays and the seemingly careless way it selects stray-catchers, would it be possible to open an independent inquiry into AVA’s internal operations, including its governance, internal controls and training of these stray-catchers? Could we have some sort of licensing or accreditation of stray-catchers, including well-documented policies for breaches of procedures? Could there be some transparency in the selection criteria of stray-catchers? Could there also be some transparency with respect to how AVA puts these unwanted, innocent animals to sleep?
The above has been requested by the public for some time and repeatedly. Please refer to the AVA’s Facebook Page and the comments by the public querying and urging significant changes to, and transparency in, AVA’s operations. I have enclosed a Facebook excerpt from AVA’s page:
Further, with the abuse of pets by their owners, would it be possible to make it mandatory for owners to have licences? This will allow us to sift out those who are likely to mistreat animals such as people with a background of violence, psychological issues, and/or children with developmental issues.
Thank you in anticipation Minister Khaw. Please contact me with any queries or support. I look forward very much to hearing from you. Together, we can stand up for the voiceless and defenceless animals that we inhabit this planet with, and make this a much better world for all.