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AVA’s questionable routine of killing, trapping animals

Posted on 23 March 2013

They committed catnapping last year.

By Belmont Lay

AVA is responsible for at least one case of catnapping last year.

AVA is responsible for at least one case of catnapping last year.

A lot of animal lovers in Singapore were up in arms recently after the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) put down a stray 11-year-old Golden Retriever despite repeated reminders not to do so while the owners were being traced.

Apparently, the repeated request not to euthanise the dog by the family who found it, fell on deaf ears because AVA is seriously screwed up when it comes to internal communications. The case has now hogged mainstream media news for a few days. You can find more details here. And AVA has yet to give a satisfactory answer.

Does this one case speak poorly of animal welfare management? Maybe.

But it gets more appalling.

From what I understand, AVA is responsible for a lot of stray dog culling across the island.

I wrote about this before. Back in 2004, I witnessed a “live” culling of stray dogs, whereby the dog catchers would chase the dog down until collapses from exhaustion, loop a noose around the dog’s neck, and practically strangled it in broad daylight by dragging its almost-lifeless and soon-to-be-carcass into the back of a truck.

This practice is inhumane, but from what I heard, poisoning dogs is also another option open to reduce their numbers.

No common sense, AVA

Inhuman practices aside, AVA is apparently also run by people with little or no common sense.

I have on hand email evidence that suggests this. No, wait. I have evidence that will prove this.

In May 2012, AVA went to a private estate around Siglap to either cull or trap cats in the area.

This is probably in response to a complaint by some non-animal lovers who don’t like cats roaming around and getting in the way of their private estate existence.

So, what happened was, AVA did their job, captured a cat and brought it back.

The only problem? The cat they captured actually belonged to someone in Siglap. The cat, when it was caught, was wearing a red collar clearly indicating it was not some chapalang stray cat.

It happened to stray into the trap that was laid in the area.

Did AVA let the cat out when they saw that it had a collar? No.

Did AVA bring it back with them and have the cat impounded? Yes.

Did AVA put up a notice in the vicinity where the cat was captured informing the residents they have in their possession someone’s cat with a red collar? Did they hell. They bloody took the cat with the red collar like how the kidnappers took Liam Neeson’s daughter in Taken.

It was only after the owner discovered her cat was missing for the night, she panicked and emailed AVA about its whereabouts. (AVA has probably already established itself as a serial catnapper. The first place people look for missing animals is AVA.)

Al-Qaeda, no, I mean, AVA replied saying they had the cat with the red collar and a ransom was required before it was free to leave their Centre for Animal Welfare and Control located at 75 Pasir Panjang Road:

Impoundment fee: $47
Boarding charges: $16.50 per day
Microchip fee: $20

On top of this ransom, the cat owner had to take a taxi down to the godforsaken Pasir Panjang Road.

And when the owner got her cat back, it was slightly injured. And possibly emotionally scarred. The cat, that is.

So what if the owner did not know AVA was responsible for the catnap? What if AVA conveniently euthanises the cat after a week because “its condition deteriorated”?

I guess it’s ok, because if nobody knows, you can do anything you want.

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