Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cats mentioned in Parliament

Here is the question about cats that came out in Parliament sent to us by NMP Siew Kum Hong :-

Question about cats in Parliament

The good news is that it does say that the AVA considers sterilisation part f the control and management strategy of community cats. It also said that the AVA is not aware of any empirical evidence to suggest that killing cats works.

I was also very happy to See that the AVA is happy to work with the community and that they have the interests of the animals at heart.

On the other hand, 10000 complaints at first glance seems like a lot. However, when you factor in that it involves ALL the HDB offices in Singapore, the AVA and 16 Town Councils along with all their different offices is really isn't. Even if it does work out to 30 complaints a day - that works out to just two complaints a day to the TCs alone and does not include other government departments. Of these, how many are repeat complaints - in the sense that they call up and complain not on the same day (and some do) but in the future? What of the people who complain to different government authorities? Is the complaint then counted once or twice (or however many times)? Also how are the complaints classified? For example, we have seen cases where other concerns got lumped under 'cat complaints' though they weren't.

Furthermore, problems of food remains aren't a cat problem - it's one of littering. I fully agree it IS a problem but how does removing the cats help? As for defecation - I am guessing the majority of those complaints are in relation to cats' upstairs.

Interestingly as well - more cats are killed (13000 a year) than there are complaints about cats.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Published 16/8/2004

World wants to know how we control our cats

by Alex Hanna

NEWS that Guernsey is short of kittens has sent the world crazy.

An island appeal earlier in the year asking people to get their pets spayed and neutered to cut down the number of stray cats led to a shortage of kittens and sudden worldwide attention including national media coverage. As a result, 21 young cats arrived in the island last week to be found new homes.

'The story was picked up in all four corners of the globe, so we have had calls from large and small cat agencies and even from America and Russia asking if we could help them, ' said Animal Shelter director Jayne Le Cras.

'They wanted to know how Guernsey had been so successful in asking islanders to be responsible pet owners and whether we could help them. They thought it was unbelievable that we don 't have many young cats. '

Arrangements were made with the Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service and the cats were brought over by Condor.

'It was just as if Christmas had arrived when the van arrived at the shelter, ' said animal care assistant Jenny Bradshaw.

'We haven 't had many kittens here for a while and we were all crowding around the van, as if there were pop stars on board. '

Some of the kittens were seasick after the crossing and others a bit stressed because of the journey, but they have all now settled down. Microchips were put in their neck by the shelter for future security and they have been checked by Route Isabelle Veterinary Practice.

'They are all shapes, sizes and colours, including a mother with her four babies, and their personalities are starting to come out now, ' said animal care assistant Gwen James.

'Some have already been chosen and I have a feeling they are going to go pretty quickly. '

The delivery could be just the start.

'Because it has been so successful, we have had a word with Condor and it has agreed to help us and bring other cats over for free, ' said Mrs Le Cras.

'All the cats are delightful and healthy and we are so keen because it fills the need here and also provides the cats with a future, which could otherwise be terribly bleak. '

She said that young cats might be brought to Guernsey from Ireland, where the situation has got badly out of hand, if there is still the demand. People there do not believe in spaying or neutering their cats and there are 1m. feral cats in Dublin alone. Kittens are often found drowned in rivers or on bonfires.

'I think the situation is down to the cat clubs and vets here so successfully pushing the message out over the last 20 years, telling people not to have unwanted cats, ' said Mrs Le Cras.

'It is still important for islanders to consider neutering - look at the favours we are doing for these other unwanted cats. '

Ten years ago, 800 or more kittens a year were coming to the shelter to be re-homed. This year there will be about 230, with people waiting for months to eventually get one.

Mrs Le Cras said it was unlikely that they would ever take kittens from America or Russia because of quarantine laws and the effects of a long and stressful journey on a young animal.

* The story of Guernsey 's lack of kittens is due to be featured in the Daily Mail today. It sent a photographer to the island on Friday.

28/3/07 1:49 PM  
Blogger eslina said...

What about AVA's Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme? Will the Ministry of National Development review and reinstate the scheme back so that more can be done with the help of the govt. to reduce the stray population and do away with the culling altogether?

28/3/07 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to see how the govt. dept will lie about the numbers of complaints with a huge numbers of anonymous complaints (could be 1000 complaints from one anonymous caller) and how many of the calls were verified by officers in proper investigation?
A true number of complaints must be an evidence-based one, i.e with propoer documentation of investigations and verification.

28/3/07 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only that, TCs should NOT entertain complaints from people who refuse to give their names/adresses/etc.

29/3/07 12:20 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

eslina - yes they are. They've mentioned that they will.

And I agree - no more anonymous complaints to TC!

29/3/07 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Furry said...

I read the reply of this MP....WHAT A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT MAN! still the same old standard reply, does not sound like they have the welfare of the animals at heart. NOT AT ALL!!!!

29/3/07 8:50 AM  
Anonymous auntie p said...

Ya, still a long way to go.

29/3/07 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess this is a start even if it were a paltry one. In the past, I think none of the MPs would have raised any significant questions about how the animals were badly treated here perhaps it would seem that there was or perhaps still is a perception that concern for animals is a sign of character "weakness".
It is a long way more before compassion for animals is seen as a strong point in the making of a leader.
If only our PM will will be a quantum lead in the welfare of the strays.

29/3/07 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No minister or MP would want to put their career on the line to champion some "radical" cause such as animal rights, they risk getting their careers put on hold. After all anyone ever heard of our high ranking leaders having pets? However if animal rights can be revised and put across as improving voter's confidence etc... then different story.

30/3/07 9:17 AM  

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