This email, dated 12 July 2011, was written by Dr Lou Eck Hee, Assistant Director of AVA to Daisy Chee. This was in response to Daisy Chee’s letter to Minister Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of National Development, on 23 June 2011. Daisy Chee’s letter to Minister Khaw is posted here.
Unfortunately, as you can see below, AVA incorrectly addressed her by the name of Diana, rather than Daisy. The points in his letter were also numbered incorrectly.
Below is the text of AVA’s letter copied straight from Daisy’s email box.
“Dear Ms Diana Chee
I refer to your email of 23 June addressed to Min (MND).
2. AVA shares your concerns on animal welfare. We investigate all feedback about animal cruelty and will not hesitate to take action against anyone who has committed an act of animal cruelty. However, AVA needs verifiable evidence and / or witnesses willing to testify in court in order to take action. Anyone charged in court and found guilty of animal cruelty can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed up to 12 months, or both. For example, in 2010, a dog breeder was jailed 6 weeks for animal cruelty and just recently, another dog breeder was jailed 10 weeks. For the Pomeranian case, AVA investigated but was not able to proceed with regulatory action as no witnesses came forward to testify.
3. We adopt a balanced approach in the management of strays, which is a complex and emotional issue, for which there are no easy solutions. AVA impounds stray dogs for control/prevention of rabies. Rabies is a viral disease fatal to man and it is endemic in neighbouring countries. All dogs, whether sterilised or not, are susceptible to rabies. Hence, sterilised strays should be properly homed and licensed, and not returned to the environment.
4. There may be occasions when AVA engages external animal catchers to remove strays. These catchers are required to comply with AVA’s welfare guidelines on capture, transport and handling of stray animals, which were drawn up together with SPCA, as well as guidelines on the use of animal traps. All stray animals brought in to AVA are checked to ensure that they are in satisfactory condition. Animal catchers found negligent will be taken to task.
5. For cats, AVA encourages sterilisation to help prevent the proliferation of strays. This alone, however, is not enough. It is a fact that stray cats, including sterilised ones, create numerous disamenities to the public, ranging from nuisance to hygiene concerns, even physical threat. Hence, the number of strays needs to be carefully managed and controlled.
6. Stray dogs and cats are put to sleep by trained veterinary personnel via an intravenous injection. The animals are sedated prior to euthanasia. AVA adopts methods of restraint and euthanasia that are also used by private vets and SPCA.
7. We would like to thank you for sharing your views and feedback with us.