Saturday, May 8, 2010

Profit is bottom line for animal farms

Straits Times Forum
Online Story
May 8, 2010
Profit is bottom line for animal farms

I REFER to the report, '5-digit sum spent to save 80 dogs' (April 21), and the letter by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 'Impose stricter measures to protect dogs at farms' (April 29). I urge the authorities to take a closer look at these puppy mills, many of which are run in an inhumane manner.

My conversations with animal welfare volunteers and people who have visited these farms revealed that most animals are kept in appalling and unhygienic conditions. This is because the owners care little about the animals in their quest to make a profit.

These volunteers have rescued many 'slave' animals (since they are kept in cages all the time and fed the minimum to keep them alive, the sole reason for their existence to be mated to produce puppies for sale).

Singapore has reached a high level of sophistication in its 'hardware' and we should aim for a similar level in our 'software' which involves being gracious not only to one another but also to animals. We are First World in economic terms but unfortunately, when it comes to our attitude towards animals, we are far from First World.

I urge the authorities to give serious and urgent attention to this puppy-mill issue. These farms should be strictly regulated and be made to pass stringent tests on hygiene, living conditions, animal welfare, vet care and so on before they are granted a licence.

At the same time, I urge members of the public to refrain from buying from these unethical farms. Better still, instead of buying, adopt and give a second chance to the thousands of homeless animals around us. Your kindness will be returned many times by the love and loyalty of the grateful animals.

Jill Hum (Ms)