Animal abuse probed

Animal abuse probed
Animal welfare group Acres’ undercover investigation revealed that some pet shops failed to meet the conditions for basic animal welfare by providing cages that are too small.
PHOTO: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) released an explosive report in May detailing infringements in the pet trade here.

The animal welfare group found that 31 out of 41 pet retailers flouted pet shop and farm licence conditions.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) says that the situation is not as dire and it has warned just a pet shop and two pet farms.


What Acres found: Nine pet shops and 10 pet farms with enclosures or cages infringed the size conditions.

Under AVA's pet shop licence conditions, the length of the cage must be at least two times the length of the animal.

The width should be at least 1½ times the length of the animal, and the height must allow the animal to comfortably stand upright on its hind legs.

Acres also had video evidence of two dogs kept in cages that looked too small for them.

What AVA found: Out of the 19 pet retailers identified by Acres, 12 had cages "slightly smaller than the required sizes".

A pet farm licensee was served a warning letter as AVA found the cages did not allow the animals to move around and stand comfortably.

As for the video released by Acres, AVA found that the pet shops had only housed the animals for a short period, either before or after their grooming sessions, or during housekeeping.


What Acres found: Five pet shops and nine pet farms failed to provide floor mats for the pet cages as prescribed in the licensing conditions.

AVA requires pet shops to line cages with floor mats that provide firm and comfortable support for the animals.

If the cage floor is made of thin wire, or if the wire mesh has gaps bigger than 1cm by 1cm, the mats must cover at least half the floor.

What AVA found: Only one of the pet shops and one of the pet farms identified by Acres used "unacceptable alternative flooring".

This may potentially impact the welfare of animals, and the licensees involved have been served warning letters, AVA said.


What Acres found: A pet shop and a pet farm did not provide drinking water for the puppies displayed in the enclosures.

An Acres investigator previously told The New Paper that he saw the puppies panting heavily, an indication that they were not given enough clean drinking water.

AVA requires clean drinking water to be provided at all times.

What AVA found: Both the pet shop and pet farm gave water to the puppies at ½-hour to one-hour intervals. When AVA inspectors asked the retailers to provide water to random puppies, they did not drink the water immediately, suggesting that they were not thirsty.

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