Fine for giving food to monkeys should apply to feeding strays too
Wed, May 14, 2008
my paper

I refer to the two recent incidents of cruelty to cats. While not a pet lover, I certainly do not condone the killing of animals.

However, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA), should look into the root causes of such abuses.

The stray cat population in the housing estates has, in my opinion, increased tremendously.

At night, the neighbourhood becomes a "cat safari", with groups of cats - and kittens as well - waiting to be fed. If feeding monkeys is an offence that carries a $3,000 fine, what about feeding stray cats - and pigeons, for that matter?

The mess created by the cats after they have eaten is an eyesore and the bowls of water left unattended are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

I have also seen residents throwing rice from their windows to feed the pigeons. This is littering, not to mention that it would help in the birds' breeding, thus increasing their population.

The stray cats also leave behind their urine and droppings at the playgrounds and other common areas. I even found cat's droppings in my flower pots.

Some cats also climb onto the bonnet of cars in the carpark and they might even scratch the vehicles.

I have tried calling the town council about the stray cat problem in my neighbourhood, but I was directed to AVA, which, in turn, directed me back to the town council - it said the problem occurs in an HDB estate.

I urge the relevant authorities to curb the stray cat population and deal with the problem of feeding and littering. This would help in the prevention and reduction of the incidence of cruelty to stray cats.

Ms Florence Goh Gek Siok

Editorial note: The earlier photograph accompanying this letter has been removed, as it did not accurately portray the nature of this letter. The photograph was in fact an example of the feeding of stray cats in a responsible and controlled manner.

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