Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good move to set up animal task force


Jul 19, 2011

Good move to set up animal task force

LESS than a month after the first public forum on animal welfare policies in Singapore was held, the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced last Monday that it plans to form an inter-agency task force to review current pet ownership and stray animal management policies ('Task force to review pet ownership policies'; last Tuesday).

This is testament to the success of the forum organised by the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society, as well as MND's leadership in addressing public concerns by constructive dialogue.

The review will involve different stakeholders, from senior MND officials to residents. This is a departure from the way policies were developed and represents a move towards public engagement and more informed policymaking.

The review's ultimate objective of creating 'a conducive shared living environment for everyone' also shows MND's appreciation of the role animals - strays or pets - play towards a happier and more liveable society.

The inability of animals to communicate their suffering in words imposes on humans a higher moral obligation to discern their cries for help.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the true nature of a community is revealed in the way it treats its animals. MND's commitment to have an extensive review of pet ownership and stray animal management policies represents a positive step.

Daisy Chee (Ms)