A battle for public opinion. Make this 4 months count.
Old habits die hard.
Even when there is a strong national direction by the Ministry of National Development towards a humane approach towards community cats, we see Member of Parliament and Town Councils continue to waver when faced with complaints.
We continue to be a complaint-driven culture because national directions filter slowly to the ground. Some of our constituency leaders continue to believe in a neutral position when it comes to handling complaints and reaching a position that will placate complainants, even when it goes against our conscience to be humane. Even in the face of an active citizenry who have shown good results by their own efforts in solving a national issue.
SARS have been quoted time and time again. One complainant goes so far as to say "Are we waiting for another SARS before we can eradicate all the strays?" He goes on to say how effective the Town Council was then and urge them to be just as effective again.
The actions of our authorities during the SARS period have left many lingering effects on our society
1) The perpetuation of unsubstantiated information about cats and diseases
2) Erosion of public trust by terminating a programme without warning
3) Entrenching values in our society that is counter to our humane conscience
4) The continual undermining of caregivers efforts to manage a national issue with their own time and resources, by removing time and time again sterilised cats without good reason.
In this 4-month review period when government agencies deliberate and decide the fate of our pet dogs, cats and community animals, your voice is a valuable one. What kind of Singapore do you want to live in? One that continues to overeact to complaints and negative information that impacts the lives of so many? Or one that shows grace and conviction to do what is humane?
This is not just about animals. It is also about the people who care for them and the ones who believe in a better Singapore.
Don't just give your suggestions and feedback to the Ministry of National Development http://app.mnd.gov.sg/PetOwnershipAndStrayManagementReview.aspx
Your Member of Parliament and your Town Council Chairman need to hear from you too.
For those of you that care about animal welfare, this is our clarion call. Make this 4 months count.
TOWARDS SECURING OUR FUTURE TOGETHER FOR OUR SHARED ENVIRONMENT
[ ] I am an active member of our cat caregiving community who sterilises community cats and manages them responsibly. Give examples where possible.
[ ] I support the work of my cat caregiving community who who sterilises community cats and manages them responsibly. Give examples where possible.
[ ] I care about animal welfare.
[Your suggestions on how to improve animal welfare in your community or in Singapore.]
This is what we humbly seek of our esteemed Member of Parliament:
· Leadership in tackling issues with constructive pre-emption instead of reaction, towards addressing the root cause – irresponsible pet ownership and abandonment – in our estates. We also seek to work with you to reinstate an effective stray cat sterilisation programme, previously in place but abandoned in 2004, .
· Action based on good information by referring to local and overseas studies, best practices and consulting with subject experts.
· Willingness in engaging active members of the community who are committed to responsibly assisting their Town Councils and communities in tackling issues.
· Recognising and encouraging social responsibility in our estates and communities.
· Fairness in dealing with complaints.
· Commitment to cut administrative red tape to enable effective and humane solutions to issues.
We are confident that you are keen to engage the community positively. We appreciate your well-regarded attention and look forward to meeting you and hearing your views on the above.