Friday, May 11, 2007

Meeting with TC

Just got back a short while ago from the meeting with the town council which Michelle and I attended. I am glad to say that they did take the whole matter very seriously and looked into it promptly.

As was suspected by the caregivers, the TC did not know about this. The very first thing they did was to apologise. What happened was that the officer had apparently called in pest control about a case that Rebecca and I had both been working on. There was no caregiver in the area and that's why we were involved. Rebecca went down and removed the cats as there was a persistent feeder upstairs who refused to stop and the cats were relocated within the vicinity.

What then may have happened is that the cat found its way back up. Instead of contacting Rebecca or myself, the officer then called pest control which according to what was decided with the town council in earlier meetings, he should not have done either. Pest control could not trap the cat, and as a result, the officer then asked the cleaning supervisor to grab the cat.

The General Manager of the TC said that from now on, he will make it very clear that no one, except licensed pest control will be allowed to trap cats in their estate. In addition he will reinforce to the officers that the protocol must be followed - ie that if there is a complaint, it will be referred to the caregiver. If there is a nuisance, and the caregiver cannot solve the complaint AND cannot remove the cat, then pest control will be called in, but only after informing the caregiver.

The GM will also look into the case personally and counsel the officer involved.

The good news is that they will continue with the programme and continue to work with caregivers in the estate to solve issues relating to community cats.

What was unusual (and worrying) though is that apparently, there was a town council meeting recently (the meeting where the AVA met with the TCs) and the stance the TCs took was that as a group, they would have a policy of 'no-strays' in estates because they felt that these were HDB housing estates. To be consistent with the HDB rule against cats, they felt that this would be their stand.

Michelle and I pointed out that this was not about 'allowing' cats in estates but managing cats already in the estate - and minimising problems for residents.

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Anonymous loud meow said...

TC and AVA has no say since HDB has in place an evil rule, hatched decades ago to ban cats as companion pets and now, a socalled vision to make HDB esates a no-cats territory. Good luck to all the feeders and their cats.

What a sad and bloody place HDB estates have become.

11/5/07 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Fuming Mad said...

This is unbelievably believable! What a bloody shameful lot of TC people!

11/5/07 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Fuming Mad said...

It also demonstrates the impotency of AVA when it can't stand up to such nonsensical "no strays" policy! AVA will be a even bigger killing field for the cats at the expense of taxpayers while civil servants continue to take home bigger and bigger salaries.

11/5/07 8:18 PM  
Anonymous loud meow said...

the upcoming ' no strays in HDB ' is similar to mass culling of all community cats. AVA will obey and carry out the slaughter.

Who are the evil minds behind this mass slaughter of innocent cats?

11/5/07 10:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I don't think that this means the TCs are going to embark on a mass killing campaign, nor that this is an upcoming matter. The meeting for example took place a while ago and it seems that things have remained more or less status quo. I think that there may be a difference between what the 'official' stance is (and what officially decided in the meeting), and what the TCs actually do in practice. For example, even with the HDB rule - cats are 'officially' not allowed but often the rule is not enforced.

I would say - keep working with your TC and don't worry too much about this. On our part, we'll try and see if we can contact whomever is in charge of the TCs as a whole and see if there's a way to change this.

12/5/07 12:08 AM  
Blogger Marcus said...

Something is really rather wrong with whoever's in charge if they think neighbourhoods are better off 'catfree', never mind that in practice it is impossible (or only at an incredibly heavy cost both financially and humanly) and a proven humane alternative is at hand.

12/5/07 12:22 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It could be and this is what loud meow speculates, that because of HDB's rule, the town councils may feel that they HAVE to enforce a rule that really only applies within flats (and a stupid rule it is too). Even if one can argue the latter applies because it is in the rules, it doesn't really make sense to extend it to the former. For one thing, these cats are IN the community - they aren't pet cats. It's ineffective, a waste of money and inhumane to say that there should be no cats in the estate. That would be akin to saying let's ban birds, or trees, or maybe even air.

12/5/07 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Sky said...

As long as there's abandonment, the TCs can NEVER achieve 'no strays' goal.

12/5/07 12:37 AM  
Anonymous pickle said...

Instead of aiming to achieve a no-kill, humane HDB enviro for cats, they come up with a nice sounding name like ' cats-free ' etc.

I prefer an idiot-free, non-violence approach when managing cats. Can TC achieve a violence-free HDB? They can't - drunk drivers smash up cars, murders, rape, fire, killer litter, lift urination etc.

So why go after the cats?

12/5/07 3:47 AM  
Blogger EJ. said...

Enforcing a 'cat-free' policy would make certain people's job much easier -less complaints to attend to. It is like sweep the problems under the rug.

I agreed with Sky:
'As long as there's abandonment, the TCs can NEVER achieve 'no strays' goal.'

There are better ways to deal with strays than going around 'passing death sentence' on them? Alot of understanding,patience and kindness are needed.Hope all TC officers take a pause in their brains and hearts before taking drastic actions like calling the pest controls.
Animals does constantly need the help and kindness of man in order to survive.

12/5/07 6:35 AM  
Anonymous zj said...

shameful & unbelievable. i am truely shocked & disgusted.

12/5/07 9:50 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I think it also stems from lack of knowledge - for example, we can choose to 'allow' cats or 'disallow' cats. They're part of the environmentand part of the community.

And you're all absolutely right about the abandonment.

12/5/07 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Fuming Mad said...

"An Estate Where There IS No Strays Poster courtesy of Tampines Town Council

12/5/07 11:37 AM  
Blogger EJ. said...

A graceful society should consider :
Allowing strays in HDB communities.
Managing them in a humane way.
Should work toward achieving a 'no-kill' policy and not 'cat-free' policy.

12/5/07 11:56 AM  
Blogger lingcat said...

The Tampines TC is currently working with the caregivers in the estate. They have obviously moved on from the 'No Stray' stance, and has acknowledge the 'Well-Managed Colony'.

It is not possible to have 'no stray' in HDB estate. Regardless of using the method culling or sterilization or both.

To be rational, the TC should choose to work with the caregivers to properly manage the colony. Culling blindly will NEVER solve the problem of over-population. We all know it well enough, for the past 20 years, the authorities are culling 13000 cats yearly.

So it will be the best if the caregivers can approach their own TC and educate them about the importance of the TNRM. Tampines TC which used to kill mercilessly. But today, with proper education and support from caregiver residents, we have a humane programme in place.

12/5/07 12:04 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

lingcat - well said.

12/5/07 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While they're at it, why not ban all other animals as well? Oh wait, they already do. That's why pest control companies are doing a roaring trade

12/5/07 2:01 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

I hope there can be a meet up with TC's once a year to discuss/share such matters. They should organize it and involve CWS and the helpers. And once a yr too incase they change management, and the 'newbies' start creating problems all over again. It's really upsetting.

An off topic link: It's really cute. :) Not sure if you've seen it before but hope it brings some cheer. We may not understand Japanese but the pics r good enough to make me giggle. Take care!

12/5/07 11:14 PM  
Anonymous belle said...

Talk to the MP ... tell him what is happening ...

14/5/07 12:14 PM  

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