Friday, December 4, 2009

SPCA Reply

Thank you for your email regarding the HDB policy on keeping of cats /dogs. I have discussed with Mary your email. In relation to raising this matter in Parliament, confidentially, I had approached an MP recently (who has raised animal welfare issues previously in Parliament ) about raising the issue of the HDB policy in relation to keeping of cats, but he was of the opinion that it was better not to do it at this point in time, as it may open up a series of discussions and the final outcome may not be better than the current status, (where people do keep cats with authorities acting only if they receive a complaint).

The authorities always remind us in their replies to our letters of appeal on the issue, that they must keep in mind the views/sentiments of the majority of residents in relation keeping of pet dogs/cats.

This is HDB's stand on the keeping of cats:

"Cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats as they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined within the flats. Due to the nomadic nature of cats, the nuisances caused by cats such as shedding of fur, defecating/urinating in public areas, noise disturbance etc. would affect the environment and neighbourliness in our housing estates.”

For the record, as recently as this year, SPCA has written in to the Chairman of HDB (with copy to the Minister of National Development) to make known its views in relation to the keeping of pet cats in flats.

As spoken at our AGM last week, the more individuals who can speak up (thereby adding their voices to the animal welfare groups who have already voiced their opinions to the authorities many times over) the better.

I would suggest that you write in your views to the Minister for National Development, as we believe many voices speaking up can make a difference. The SPCA does not plan to give up on its efforts either (i.e. we will always try and lobby for cats and medium-size dogs to be kept in flats), but we defintely need the support from many more individuals such as yourself. We would recommend individual letters, rather than a petition at this point in time.

Thank you for supporting SPCA and for coming to the AGM to let us hear your views on these important issues. We look forward to you helping us in our efforts, by writing in to the authorities to press for a change in the HDB rules.

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