SINGAPORE — The number of licensed dogs that died in dog farms and pet shops fell in 2019, according to figures shared by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng, Wong revealed on Tuesday (18 February) that dog farms and pet shops reported that 134 and 14 licensed dogs died at their establishments respectively last year, compared with the deaths of 162 and 26 licensed dogs respectively in 2018.
The authorities do not have the figures for 2017 as the requirement for these establishments to report deaths of licensed dogs in their care only came into effect then, Wong said.
Ng, an animal welfare activist, had asked Wong about the number of such deaths over the past three years including as a result of euthanasia.
“Currently, NParks does not require the establishments to provide information on the cause of death. NParks will look into this as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance traceability of animals, in order to protect public and animal health,” Wong said.
In a post on his Facebook page last Tuesday, Ng mentioned the parliamentary question and asked whether Singapore should follow the practice in the UK where pet shops are banned from selling kittens and puppies.
Separately, on Monday, the founder and chief executive of ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society) also said on Facebook that he had not forgotten about the saga surrounding Platinium Dogs Club, a controversial pet boarding facility.
Several allegations of negligence had been made by dog owners who left their pets at Platinium in December 2018, which prompted an investigation into the facility by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). One dog owner told Yahoo News Singapore that QQ, her 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, died after a stay at Platinium.
A worker at Mobile Pet Cremation Services told Yahoo News Singapore on 31 December 2018 that he had handled requests from a woman associated with Platinium in December.
The operator of Platinium, a 30-year-old woman, was arrested on 6 January last year, said the AVA in response to media queries.
Ng said in his post, “What happened there has raised many questions and the investigations should help shed light on what happened to the animals in its care. It’s time for an update.”
As such, Ng added that he had filed a parliamentary question for next week’s sitting on the alleged animal welfare-related offences by Platinium.