Stiffer AVA rules on pet purchases

Stiffer AVA rules on pet purchases
Pet Lovers Centre staff Cheryl Dayotao (in blue) helping Madam Eileen Che and her daughter Esther in a pre-sale assessment prior to purchasing a rabbit. Such measures are practised by the chain to prevent impulse buying.

SINGAPORE -  Buying a dog, cat or rabbit from a pet shop will become harder in the new year, with a new move by the Government to reduce impulse buying by children and abandonment of these animals.

From yesterday, those under the age of 16 can buy the animals only when they are accompanied by their parents or legal guardian.

Also, the shop must carry out a pre-sale screening that involves both the seller and the buyer making a pet purchase declaration, which is essentially a checklist.

The seller's checklist is to ensure the buyer has, among other things, read up on the pet and knows a veterinarian to whom the animal could be brought when ill.

As for the buyer's checklist, it is to verify the seller has provided information on how to care for the pet, such as its health needs and amount of space it needs.

These conditions were announced on Monday by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

Besides reducing impulse buying by children, the new rules "also aim to minimise the downstream problems of pet abandonment or poor pet care", the AVA said in a statement.

Singapore pet shops are licensed by the AVA and they must renew their licence every year.

They have until June 30 next year to comply with the latest rules. Those who flout them face a composition fine of $500 while recalcitrant offenders may have their licences suspended or revoked.

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