Pet retail industry regulated by AVA

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has in place several regulatory measures to safeguard the welfare of animals.

They will also ensure that pet shops and dog farms comply with stringent conditions on animal management and care.

These include the size of cages, number of dogs on the premises, cleanliness and ventilation. Staff in pet stores and farms also need to go for training in pet animal management and welfare.

In an e-mail reply, the government agency said the pet retail industry is regulated and monitored by AVA. Its officers conduct regular, unannounced inspections of pet shops and farms as part of its routine surveillance.

Pet shops can be inspected more than four times a year, while the farms are inspected monthly, its spokesman said.

During these visits, AVA officers check for:

 compliance with licensing conditions

 the general condition of the animals and premises.

It will take the necessary action when there is a breach of licensing conditions. Recalcitrant pet shops may be charged in court and if found guilty, can be fined up to $5,000.

Puppies imported into Singapore have to comply with these criteria:

 they are certified by competent authorities,

 microchipped,

 have a minimum age of three months,

 have received health checks.

For animals transported by air, they have to be in carriers that comply with International Air Transport Association standards.

On arrival, AVA will check that the puppies are healthy and the documents are in order before releasing the animals to the importer.

Animal cruelty in Singapore is an offence that can be prosecuted in court. When there is a complaint pointing to cruelty to animals, AVA will also investigate and take necessary action.

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