WE ARE pleased that Professor Tommy Koh spoke for the defenceless and voiceless animals at the second National Conference On Kindness ("Are Singaporeans kind or unkind? Prof Koh's checklist"; Sunday).
In his speech, he said that he was appalled by reports of cruelty towards animals.
In our group's journey with the Singapore Kindness Movement, we appeal to the following sectors:
- The Government, for policies to reflect kindness to animals. For instance, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was not well-supported by police investigations when a Sengkang resident allegedly beat a pomeranian to death in public in 2010. Singapore has seen evidence of animal neglect and abuse during the 2010 Pasir Ris puppy mill rescue.
Animal welfare groups have been waiting since last year to partner the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to co-inspect all local puppy mills to ensure kinder treatment of breeding dogs, and will continue to press the issue.
- Pet shops: Do not buy puppies below the age of 12 weeks without the necessary vaccinations and without seeing the condition of the puppy's parents. If the parents are unhealthy and kept in unkempt pens, do not buy from the breeder as the puppy may be a carrier of congenital diseases.
- Singaporeans without pets: Be kind to animals and pet-keepers. If there are issues with a pet-keeping neighbour, find a humane solution by pressing for pet-keepers to be educated on responsible pet-keeping rather than seek to evict the animal.
- Pet-keepers: Be responsible and pick up after pets. Re-use small plastic bags and learn the fun technique of bagging poo. Just as it is the parents' responsibility to bring up their children to be good citizens, we need to lead our pets towards good pet citizenship through kind guidance too.